National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! With help from our partners at KnowBe4, we dedicate every October to further educating the Wayne State University community about cyber security. The resources on this page have been collected to help you better understand actions you can take on your own to secure your data and devices. All year long, the C&IT Information Security Office works tirelessly to protect the university's systems, software, and sensitive data in its daily operations.

Policies Phishing Applications
University Information Security Standards protect your info, devices, and the entire Wayne State community. Our secure email system keeps you safe from scammers and users have the power to report phishing scams too. We partner with vendors like DUO Security (two-factor authentication)
and Global Protect (VPN) to enforce extra layers of security surrounding sensitive data. We encourage all Warriors to consider how they can protect their own data. Being informed and extra cautious online can help us protect the Wayne State community—and it can also keep you safe outside of the Wayne State network. 


What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

The Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that adds additional layers of security to your account by requiring you to provide additional verification factors to gain access to your accounts. It protects your accounts and is much more secure than relying on a username and password (one-factor authentication), reducing the chance of being hacked. MFA goes by many names, including Two Factor Authentication, Two-Step Authentication, MFA, and 2FA. MFA is all about authenticating access with two or more factors, which can include:

  • Something you have
  • Something you are
  • Something you know
How MFA Works

Once you enable MFA on your online accounts, once you enter your account password, you will be required to provide an authenticator (e.g. text to your phone, email, authentication app, etc.) to verify your identity. The second authenticator prevents hackers from gaining access to your account if your password is compromised.

MFA at Wayne State University

Universities and their campus communities are heavily targeted by malicious actors seeking to acquire valuable information and access sensitive systems. Wayne State University uses two forms of MFA to add a second layer of security to access your account and sensitive systems, applications, and information.

  • Wayne State University uses Microsoft MFA to securely access Wayne State email and other applications, including Office 365 (OneDrive, Teams, etc.) Microsoft MFA can be used with the Authenticator mobile app, text messages, or voice calls to verify identity. 
  • The university has also partnered with Duo Security to offer two-factor authentication to protect sensitive data in Academica.

Security practices when working from home

Use WSU-managed device

Wayne State C&IT recommends using WSU-managed machines for all university-related business. University computers are configured to meet university IT policies and security standards and are updated regularly to ensure compatibility with technology demands in higher education.

If you plan on using a personal device, make sure it meets the university's standards for personal devices.

When using personal devices:

  • Consider creating a separate user account to isolate work accounts from personal accounts.

  • Never use your work email for personal reasons or vice versa.

  • Keep your operating system and software updated in order to prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities.

  • Encrypt your hard drive so that it cannot be accessed by anyone who does not have the correct key or password. Learn how to enable hard drive encryption on Apple and Windows devices

  • Use antivirus software and run regular scans. While no antivirus is 100 percent foolproof, there are now many free and often operating system-integrated products that help protect your machine from viruses and malware when paired with safe computing practices. WSU does not offer antivirus software for personal use, but the C&IT Help Desk recommends and offers support for Microsoft Defender and Sophos.

Always use VPN

To minimize the risk of data exposure and password compromise, use the Wayne State University Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working from home. WSU's VPN also provides a simple and secure method for accessing WSU resources normally restricted to on-campus use. This includes access to Banner, Cognos ReportNet and Windows file shares, and also relaying email directly through Wayne Connect (Office 365 online) To find out how to install and use, see WSU Virtual Private Network.

Secure your home wireless network

Although wireless networks are extremely convenient and easy to set up, they pose several risks when left unsecured:  

  • Anyone in range of your network can use your internet connection.

  • Anyone in range of your network can access your computer.

  • Anything sent over the wireless connection could be stolen.

Tips for securing your wireless network at home

  • Change your default SSID (name of your wireless network) and make sure it doesn't contain any sensitive or personally identifiable information, such as your name or address.

  • Change your default wireless network and administrator password.

  • Enable encryption for best security. If possible, use WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access)

  • Enable MAC address filtering to only allow devices with MAC addresses configured in the wireless router to connect.


Create and maintain secure passwords

It can be hard to keep track of all the passwords you're required to have today. School, work, banking, plus a handful of social media accounts – every corner of our life requires credentials that not only must be secure, but must be easy to remember.

Create strong passwords

A secure password may be the only line of defense your computer possesses. If you have a weak password, a hacker may easily crack it and access all the information on your computer. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating passwords:

  • Use eight or more characters, using special characters, capital letters, punctuations, and numbers
  • Don't use predictable passwords such as passw0rd, 1234, etc.
  • Don't use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily guessed
  • Consider using phrases instead of words
  • Do not share your password with anyone
  • Do not reuse passwords

Wayne State University offers students and employees guidelines for creating a strong password.

Use a password manager

password manager is software that encrypts, stores, and manages passwords. With password managers, you can create unique and strong passwords, store them in one location (encrypted), and use them with just one master password. There are many password managers on the market, and some of the most popular ones include LastPass, KeePass, 1Password, and Apple's iCloud Keychain. 

Wayne State students can sign up for a free LastPass password manager account. LastPass accounts can be accessed on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops

Source: KnowB4