Cyber-Stronger Together: The Systemwide Security Awareness Group

illustration: streams of information being blocked by a lock

By Bill Green.

One hundred fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for friends and neighbors to band together to help one another build a barn. It made for quick work, and just a bit of effort from everyone completed the construction infinitely faster than one family could do on its own.

To some extent, this is the theory behind the UC Systemwide Security Awareness Workgroup. Launched in October 2017, and meeting every two weeks, the group works together to create a year-long calendar of information security specific topics, ranging from ways to avoid falling prey to phishing emails and W-2 scams, to digital hygiene and privacy concerns.

For every cybersecurity awareness event, such as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the workgroup provides a “toolkit,” a series of digital communications resources, from posters and handouts to videos and custom-created social media campaigns.

Each toolkit provided includes input from all the member campuses and health centers. For instance, one campus excels at graphic design, another at creating video, and still another at writing or editing articles. Afterward, vetting by the workgroup ensures a high level of quality and then the contributions are combined into a single package for use by all campuses.

As a result, each campus has access to an extensive set of tools and resources without a single location having to create all the materials by itself.  These toolkits can be edited by each campus to best suit the needs of the environment and also allow a personal touch.

Our collaborative efforts on the “Cyber Strong UC” campaign resources were recognized in 2018 with a Golden Sautter award, which recognizes innovation in information technology at UC!

The workgroup’s collaborative work products are available online. Check them out regularly, as the group continually creates new materials to raise cybersecurity awareness across UC.

Bill Green, an Information Security analyst with the Information Security Office at UC RiversideBill Green is an Information Security analyst with the Information Security Office at UC Riverside.

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