I⁢ Hosts Computer Security Workshops

I⁢ Hosts Computer Security Workshops
I⁢ is offering computer security awareness workshops to the campus community this quarter.

Several damaging viruses, including the well-known Microsoft Blaster worm, attacked hundreds of Cal Poly Pomona computers this summer. As a result, the Instructional & Information Technology (I⁢) division spent numerous hours detecting and reacting to these security problems. I⁢ staff worked diligently to reformat hard drives and reinstall software, taking time away from working, teaching and learning.

All signs indicate that more damaging computer viruses and worms will occur in the future, therefore I⁢ is offering computer security awareness workshops to the campus community this quarter.

The 1 ½-hour session teaches actions computer users can take to improve computer security. These steps will help stop intruders and their programs from invading computers. All workshops are held in Building 98 C5-16. Workshop dates and times are as follows:

  • Basic Information Security Awareness – Sept. 26, 10:30 a.m. to noon; Oct. 3, 1:30-3 p.m.; and Oct. 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Pre-requisites: Experience using a computer running Microsoft Windows and using e-mail.
  • Advanced Security Awareness ? Sept. 26, 1:30-3 p.m.; Oct. 3, 3-4:30 p.m.; and Oct. 10, 1:30-3 p.m. Pre-requisites: Basic understanding of computer hardware and software components, operating systems and computer networks. Basic understanding of computer and network security fundamentals.

At the conclusion of the basic workshop, participants will understand how to install and use anti-virus programs, keep systems patched, use care when reading e-mail with attachments, install and use a firewall program, make backups of important files and folders, use strong passwords and use care when downloading and installing programs.

The advanced workshop will provide an introduction to Security+ certification topic areas. Security+ is a vendor-neutral certification competency for foundation-level security practitioners. At the conclusion of the advanced workshop, participants will understand general security concepts, communication security, infrastructure security, basics of Cryptography and operational/organizational security.

Dan Manson, Computer Information Systems (CIS) professor and campus information security officer, will lead the workshops.

“The World Wide Web and electronic communication are arguably the most powerful teaching and research tools available,” says Manson. “However, to use this power wisely, computer security must become everybody?s concern.”

In addition to the workshops, I⁢ is distributing anti-virus software and a CD of the latest Microsoft patches to all incoming students living on campus. And, for the first time, computer security awareness training was incorporated into this year?s new student orientation program.

“On an Internet-connected campus such as Cal Poly Pomona?s, security is only as good as the weakest link,” he says. “If a Cal Poly Pomona computer is infected by a computer virus or worm, we stand a lot to lose. Our passwords, e-mail, confidential data and reputation are at stake.”

In July, the National Science Foundation awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant to Cal Poly Pomona and Mt. San Antonio College to support the development of information systems security curriculum, programs, certifications and articulation agreements.

The university also received formal certification from the National Security Agency and the Committee on National Security Systems identifying that the university?s information assurance curriculum meets strict national security standards. Cal Poly Pomona is currently the only university in The California State University system and in Southern California to receive this award.

For more information on computer security workshops, call (909) 869-3099.