By Jalen Gaynor | Posted on November 19, 2022
The Office of Computing and Information Services (OCIS) and the Kean Center for Cyber Security hosted a webinar on October 25 in honor of Cyber Security Awareness Month.
President George W. Bush and Congress declared October Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004. The month was created to help individuals protect themselves and their private data online.
Kean’s webinar was not only intended to raise awareness about cybersecurity, but also to educate attendees about the tools and resources available at the university.
Kean recently made several changes in an effort to strengthen the university’s cybersecurity. One of the key milestones in this process was the arrival of Dawn Dunkerley, Virtual Information Security Officer at OCIS.
Dunkerley helped create a formal cybersecurity policy and plan that includes integrating multi-factor authentication and implementing the BitSight monitoring solution and carbon black endpoint detection and response.
Dunkerley praised BitSight monitoring, explaining that she uses the tool quite heavily in her current role to help assess potential risks the university may face.
“Everything from understanding what’s on the dark web to properly patching our systems to keep them up to date, do we have file shares from places that shouldn’t be happening,” said Dunkerley. “It assigns a credit rating based on the risk the university is currently exposed to based on the implementation of many of these factors.”
Another important new implementation that Dunkerley discussed is carbon black endpoint detection and response. This is an important tool because it provides protection in case bad things happen and systems are negatively affected.
“Software that sits on individual systems that allows us to shut it down when something is happening,” Dunkerley said. “Having next-gen capabilities like Carbon Black is absolutely essential.”
The university shows through these additions that it is committed to protecting the private information of students, faculty, and staff. This webinar is important because of the frequency with which phishing emails are sent to students and staff asking them to enter personal information.
The information given at this event informs individuals about the steps they can take to recognize these dangerous messages and ways to counter attempts to violate them.
Kean was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency earlier this year. The university received this honor because of its academic programs and practices to address the shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals in the workforce, a growing national crisis.
Around the time the recognition was announced, Stan Mierzwa, deputy director and lecturer at the Center for Cybersecurity, expressed excitement about what it means for Kean.
“Kean University contributes to the successful training and education of the future workforce for high-demand cybersecurity roles,” Mierzwa said. “This validation will help the university continue its efforts to develop and expand its cybersecurity programs, aimed at providing greater opportunities for our students and graduates in this growing field.”
Between their designation by the National Security Agency and this webinar, Kean has shown that they are committed to cybersecurity awareness and want people to have confidence in their security on and off campus.