WVSOM promotes online safety during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) announced its commitment to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October, by becoming a “Champion” and joining a global effort to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy.

The Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions Program is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals committed to this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme of “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” The program’s goal is to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

The initiative also highlights the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. Data collected from these devices can include specific information about a person or business that can be exploited for personal gain.

Kim Ransom, WVSOM’s chief technology officer, said WVSOM faces cybersecurity threats on a regular basis, but that the medical school strives to give members of its community the knowledge required to successfully confront them.

“Cybersecurity issues impact WVSOM daily. They range from international hacking attempts — most recently against our website from servers in the Eastern European country of Moldova — to phishing attempts sent to employees by entitles posing as members of the school’s administration,” Ransom said. “One of our best defenses is increasing awareness among staff and students. By not clicking on phishing attempts and reporting email scams to the information technology department, we can jointly block these threats.”

WVSOM’s cybersecurity protocols are audited annually, with the most recent audit taking place from April to June 2020. In preparation, the school’s IT department formulated an Information Security Plan highlighting WVSOM’s measures to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a federal law that includes provisions requiring institutions to protect financial data. The plan also requires annual employee training for data protection, the appropriate processing and disposal of data, and detecting, preventing and responding to cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month, led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, aims to shed light on security vulnerabilities and offer guidance on simple safety measures.

The initiative’s official hashtag, #BeCyberSmart, can be used to search for materials from “Champions” that are taking measures to address cybersecurity.

For more information, visit www.staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month.

Date Added: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2020