Cybersecurity attacks are increasing at an alarming rate at higher education institutions, and Brock University is no exception.
In an effort to mitigate these attacks, Brock Information Technology Services (ITS) is implementing three new security initiatives. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 13, faculty, staff and students can expect changes to the way they login to the Brock portal (my.brocku.ca), how they change and reset campus ID passwords, and the complexity requirements for passwords.
The most noticeable change will be a new login page for my.brocku.ca. To access the portal, users will be redirected to the familiar-looking Office 365 login page. Hyperlinks that existed on the portal, such as how students, applicants and employees activate accounts or access tutorials and resources, will be transferred to a new page accessible from the new login page.
Also moving to Office 365 will be the locations to change campus passwords and access to the self-service password reset function. Instead of going to my.brocku.ca to change a password, faculty, staff and students will login to Office 365 and then select their photo or initials at the top right of the page. They then select my account, security and privacy and then password. People who have Brock accounts but are not faculty, staff or students — such as Board of Trustees members, vendors and visiting scholars and visiting students — will continue to change their passwords in my.brocku.ca
The self-service password reset process will be moved from my.brocku.ca to passwordreset.microsoftonline.com
In the past, self-service password reset has been mandatory for students, but only voluntary for faculty and staff. Going forward, anyone with a Brock campus login will now be required to set up preferences for self-service password reset. The next time a user logs in to Office 365 after Nov. 13, they will be prompted to supply a phone number, an alternate email address or personal security questions that will be used to prove their identity. When a password is reset, users may experience a 10-minute delay for some services.
The final changes taking place will involve the passwords themselves. Users will not be able to use certain words to create their passwords, and the length of passwords will change from eight to 10 characters.
“The more characters the password contains, the more difficult it is for hackers to guess,” said Andy Morgan, Director, Client Services.
Examples of words on the prohibited passwords list include abcdefg, badger, brock, iloveyou, letmein, password, whatever, qwerty and surgite. Former passwords, as well as iterations of prohibited words, will not be accepted. Examples Br0ck!, What3v3r and p@$$w0rd.
Users are not required to change their passwords on Nov.13; they can wait until their password expires.
For more information about these changes and to consult job aids, visit brocku.ca/its