Stay Aware, Be Prepared, Connect with Care

As many Elon employees adjust to off-campus work environments and students begin remote learning, basic information security measures must be taken to protect personal and university data from cybercriminals and hackers. It’s common for cybercriminals to take advantage of emergency situations through various attempts to defraud, including malware distribution.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is no different as scammers all over the world are finding ways to use warnings as a veil for an array of of cyber-attacks. As the outbreak becomes more prominent, Elon community members may become more frequent targets.

Please stay safe and secure online while in off-campus work environments. Technology alone cannot fully protect you. However, the Office of Information Security has implemented tools and compiled awareness tips and resources to help you protect critical data and devices during this time. We hope you find this information beneficial in keeping Elon, yourself and your family more secure while navigating the internet.

Tools That Help Protect Data & Devices

To minimize the information security risk to our community and technology, we have implemented the following mechanisms at Elon University:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) using DUO Security: Enrollment is strongly encouraged as an extra layer of security when logging in to many applications; visit the MFA Self-Service Enrollment Guide to enroll today
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): For specified applications, connect securely using Elon Web VPN or Colleague VPN (see VPN – Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP): Installed on all PCs and Macs used for remote access
  • Sensitive Data Manager: Installed on all PCs and Macs used for remote access to help ensure compliance with data access regulations
  • Cisco Umbrella: Implemented components to prevent access to harmful and malicious websites
  • Splunk: Service enhanced to ensure more effective Data Loss Protection (DLP)
  • External Email Banner: Implemented a banner warning for external email that’s suspected of being harmful or malicious

YOU Are the Best Defense

Attackers have learned the easiest way to get what they want is to target YOU! They want your passwords and any personal information they can get through phishing emails, text messages, phone calls and other means. Remember information security best practices and look for common red flags in messages (grammatical errors, a sense of urgency, suspicious sender address, etc.) to prevent fraud. Securing your home wireless network is a key part of protecting your home.

Remote workers must always adhere to Information Technology (IT) best practices and Elon’s Information Security Policy. In addition, we recommend the following checklist to secure your home network and help you stay safe while working remotely:

  • Connect to Elon Web VPN or Colleague VPN before accessing specified applications remotely
  • Change the default password for your wireless network
  • Make your passwords strong and unique across all accounts
  • Use LastPass to store your passwords with encryption
  • Only allow people that you trust on your home network
  • Make sure your computer, mobile devices, programs and apps are running the latest versions of software and enable automatic updates
  • Please don’t share your work-related devices with children, family or friends as they may accidentally erase or modify information, or perhaps even worse, infect your devices

View awareness resources on the Information Security website for additional tips. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email Director of Information Security Gary Sheehan at gsheehan2@elon.edu. To report an issue with remote access, visit the IT Self-Service Portal or call the Technology Service Desk at 336-278-5200.