Dear colleague

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has highlighted that criminals are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to lure people to visit malicious sites which serve phishing and malware.

These attacks are versatile and can be conducted through a variety of media via multiple means, including ransomware, credential theft or fraud.

Fraudulent email

With many of us now working and studying remotely, email is being used more than ever.

Please take time to be extra vigilant. Be careful of any email where:

  • the message is designed to make you worry and take urgent action
  • the links do not match who it is from and are misleading
  • there's a suspicious attachment
  • the email asks to confirm personal information
  • the email address doesn't match the sender displayed
  • the name in the email address is a trusted person but it is not the account they normally use.

If you suspect an email is fraudulent, use the Report Message button in Outlook located at the top right-hand side of your screen and select the category that your email falls into.

You can find more information on identifying phishing scams and fake emails on the University website.

Best practice to protect our data

Do not send any sensitive personal data by email. If you have to send this information we recommend saving documents in secure Sharepoint or Teams areas and sending a link via e-mail if necessary. If that is not possible, documents should be password protected as a minimum if sending attachments via e-mail cannot be avoided.

The University takes the threat of cybersecurity very seriously and we are asking individuals to take steps, including completing the information security training, and making better use of the newer tools that we have, like Office 365, to protect our data and information.

Information security when working from home

When you access work information you are still responsible for keeping it safe and minimising the chances of any cyber security incident transferring from your home device to the University network or vice versa.

  • Only use a supported operating system that is receiving updates. Windows 7 has not been supported since January 2020.
  • Use up to date antivirus software on your home devices.
  • Download all software updates as soon as they are offered.
  • Ensure all your devices have passcodes.
  • Change any default passwords on devices or software – including your home Wi-Fi
  • Follow the Information Handling Protocol and leave University data on University Services by using UniApps, UniDesk or storing on OneDrive

As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss this, or for me to point you in the direction of one of our IT support team.

Best wishes Alex Butler