ITS News and Events

ITS news, events and workshops.

  • Brock ITS cybersecurity improvements coming Nov. 13

    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 accountsecurity 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

    Categories: ITS News and Events, Upcoming Changes

  • Beware of Phishing!

    During national cyber security awareness month, we would like to remind Brock to be vigilant when responding to emails or clicking on links contained within.

    It has recently been brought to our attention that a seemingly innocent email has been received by faculty and staff simply asking, “Are you available?” from a sender name known to the department. However, this is a phishing email and if you respond you will soon receive a follow up asking for iTunes gift card codes to be sent.

    Don’t take the bait. To identify suspected phishing emails:

    • Check that both the sender name and reply to email address are what you expected to see before responding. From addresses/sender names are easily forged and can look like the message came from someone you know.
    • Click only on links that you are expecting.
    • Hover your mouse over a suspicious link to see the true destination without having to click on it.
    • Grammar and spelling errors can indicate a phishing email.

    Learn more about Phishing and Social Engineering on the ITS Cyber Security website. You can also view recent examples of phishing emails received at Brock here.

    If you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a phishing email contact the Help Desk at x4357 or email us at itsecurity@brocku.ca

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    Categories: ITS News and Events

  • Brock Campus ID and password not to be shared

    A Brock University Campus ID and password is for the exclusive use of the account owner and must not be shared under any circumstances.

    The following is an excerpt from the End User Logical Access Standards found at “https://brocku.ca/policies/wp-content/uploads/sites/94/End-User-Logical-Access-Standards.pdf

    “A user account, which allows a user to access Brock IT systems and data, is provided to an individual for their exclusive use. A user is prohibited from sharing their account(s) and / or password(s) with others. An authorized user is at all times responsible and accountable for the use of their account.”

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    Categories: ITS News and Events