Information, Technology & Consulting

Five Cyber Security Tips from Dartmouth's CISO

Dartmouth's Chief Information Security Officer, Steve Nyman, is a former FBI Agent and naval officer who also spent ten years as the global head of information security at Pfizer,  where he was responsible for safeguarding the company’s IT assets and other confidential information from attack by hackers. At Dartmouth, Steve applies these same skills as he works to advance information security policy and awareness/training on campus through the Dartmouth Information Security Council (DISC), Cyber Security Initiative (CSI), the Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS), and the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (IP3)

Steve's top five tips for protecting your information

  1. Turn off your computer when you are not using it, or configure a screen saver time-out so the computer locks after a period of inactivity (for highly sensitive information, 15 minutes). This feature can be easily disabled when you are using your computer for presentations.
  2. When choosing a password, select a phrase that is easy for you to remember, has no meaning to others, and follows these conventions. Remember to use passcodes on mobile devices such as phones and iPads.
  3. Be wary of public computers in airport kiosks, libraries, etc. Viruses and key loggers can steal your information. On the Web, look for a lock icon showing a secure connection. If you receive a certificate warning, consider abandoning the connection. Think before you click: phishing attacks are designed to trick you into providing personal information. Paper documents
  4. Lock confidential paperwork in desk drawers or filing cabinets. Never leave it on desks or in meeting rooms when you are not present. Shred this material when you no longer need it, and discard it in trash bins.
  5. Thefts of mobile devices are on the rise, especially in public places such as airports, restaurants, and hotels. Do not store computers and smartphones in checked luggage, and keep a watchful eye on computers when proceeding through airport security. When traveling abroad, keep in mind that certain countries, such as China and Russia, do not permit encrypted devices. You should NOT bring any computers or smartphones containing confidential data to these countries. If you will be traveling to one of these countries, you should consider bringing a laptop that does not contain any confidential data, and exercise caution when connecting to the Internet, since it is likely your Internet activity will be monitored. 
Information, Technology & Consulting