26 October 2021

3 min read

October is Cyber Security Month, promoting cyber security and improving everyone’s awareness of threats. 

Cyber security has never been more important, with cyber attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a surge in cyber criminal activity.

As many of you will know, the University of Portsmouth was a victim of a cyber incident this year. The impact was felt across the institution, affecting staff and students and it took many weeks to fully restore our services as a result.

When we combine the surge in cyber crime activity with the fact that we live in a world where we are more connected than ever, and our dependence on online resources and internet-enabled devices is growing.  It is not enough to be cyber aware anymore, we must be cyber smart.

Each connected device you use and each online account you create provides cyber criminals with another potential opportunity to access your personal data. The best way to protect yourself is to know and use some cyber security practices ensuring you are cyber smart. 

Tips to be Cyber Smart

Any device that connects to the internet is potentially vulnerable to cyber threats.

Only authorised devices are permitted to connect to the UoP network so that risks can be minimised.

Tip - If you connect it - protect it. The best defence is to keep your devices software, browser and operating system up to date. Turn on auto-updates for your personal devices. 

Passwords should be long, strong, and difficult for someone else to guess while still keeping them relatively easy for you to remember

The University has implemented multifactor authentication (MFA) to help protect user accounts - always use it whenever possible to keep your information safe. 

Tip - Use a phrase to create a lengthy, unique and memorable password

Do your research before downloading any new apps or software

Tip - Consider the publisher's reputation, user reviews and published articles before downloading.

For University devices only use software and apps that have been approved and deployed by us - if in doubt contact the IT Service Desk, +44 (0) 23 9284 7777 or on https://servicedesk.port.ac.uk

Phishing attacks are on the rise - #ThinkB4UClick

Tip - Think before you click on links or display ads in emails, making sure you know the sender and it is something you were expecting. It’s better to go straight to the website you want to visit in your browser if that is possible.

If in doubt contact the IT Service Desk, +44 (0) 23 9284 7777 or on https://servicedesk.port.ac.uk

Improving University cyber security 

The University has implemented a Cyber Security Improvement Programme to protect our devices, and the services and data we access from compromise, theft or damage.  

Following the cyber incident we have all had to learn to do things differently. For example multi-factor authentication is now the norm. As part of the cyber security programme we will look at these and other measures to ensure we’re keeping the University cyber safe.

We'll tell you more about the programme as it progresses over the coming months but please note we will all have to work differently now and going forward to protect ourselves from the ever growing cyber threats.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility and we need your help to keep our systems and information safe and secure for everybody. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns - they will always be taken seriously.