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Sun, Sand, and Cybersecurity

June 2017 Volume 12 Issue 06

From the desk of Thomas F. Duffy, MS-ISAC Chair

School’s out and the beach and mountains are calling. It is that time of the year when so many of us pack our bags and hit the open road or head to the airport for a well-earned vacation. We may be ready to take a break from our normal lives, but we still need to be cyber secure while we are enjoying our time off! In this month’s edition, we will explore some ways to be safe and smart with our devices, Internet usage, and social media while out traveling on vacation.

Stop-Think-Share

Always be careful about how much you post on social media about your vacations before and during your travels. Criminals can and do watch online posts to find people that are on vacation because that means you have left your home unattended.

Before “checking in” to a location on a social network, consider what else you are sharing – like the information that you aren’t home. Consider skipping the “check in” and making your vacation posts after you have gotten back. This is another way people can see you aren’t home. Perhaps this will have the double benefit of letting you take the time to choose only the best photos to post after your trip is over! At the very least, consider using privacy settings that only let friends see your posts. Additionally, consider turning off GPS and auto-tagging/auto-check in features, if you have them enabled.

Disable WiFi auto-connect services

Some devices have an auto-connect feature that will search for and automatically connect to available and accessible WiFi networks without your interaction. This can allow your device to automatically connect to an unencrypted, public WiFi network, or even one that was set up by a malicious actor to eavesdrop on your browsing and connection activity.

If you want to connect to a store or hotel’s network, check with an employee to see what the correct network is called, and see if they can provide a network password for a more secure, encrypted network. Always use a secure, encrypted network that requires login credentials if you have the option. In the event that isn’t an option, and you can use your phone as a WiFi hotspot, use that instead to get a more secure connection for another device that can’t make direct use of the cellular network’s connection.

Additionally, make sure you do not choose to “remember this network” or “join this network automatically” once you have settled on a more trusted network for use during your vacation. If you have these settings switched on for a very generically named network, your device may connect you to a less secure one that happens to have the same name. Even if you have this turned off, there’s another setting that will automatically connect you to a network you have joined before, which can be a problem since your device doesn’t know the difference between your coffee shop’s “Guest” network and a malicious “Guest” network. Turn these settings off so you don’t automatically connect, and choose to connect only to more trusted, safer WiFi networks.

Keep your devices close, and keep them locked when not in use!

Whether it’s your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, be sure to keep your device on you or with someone you trust. Never leave a device unattended in an airport, train station, restaurant, hotel lobby or anywhere else in public while travelling. There is a common scam that targets people who leave devices sitting next to them. In this scam, another traveler will approach you and ask for help and then lay a newspaper or map down over your device. While you’re distracted answering their question, they are picking up and pocketing your device under the cover of the newspaper or map!

Set a strong password: Use at least 8 characters in upper and lower case, numbers, and symbols

Set a strong pattern lock: Use at least 7 points and double it back over itself with at least 2 turns

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Registration Opens for U.S. Cyber Challenge’s Annual Cyber Quests Competition

Upcoming Cyber Quests Competition to Determine Qualifiers for Summer 2016 Cyber Campscyberchallenge
Washington, D.C., April 11, 2016 – U.S. Cyber Challenge opened registration today for the 2016 Cyber Quests online competition. The annual Cyber Quests competition
determines who qualifies for the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) Summer Cyber Camps, a leading nationwide program in cybersecurity workforce development. While registration
opened today, the actual competition will open on Monday, April 25, 2016, with the competition closing on Friday, May 6, 2016. To register and compete, visit uscc.cyberquests.org.
The Cyber Quests competition and USCC camps are designed to improve cybersecurity skills, provide training & mentorship from renowned instructors and highlight skills for potential employers. For this specific Cyber Quests, competitors need to identify incident indicators and ultimately apply skills required of a Security Monitoring and Event Analyst job role as outlined in the Council on CyberSecurity’s Mission Critical Role Project report.
For Cyber Quests, participants will have 24-hours to complete the competition, beginning from the time they begin answering questions. Winners are determined based on who achieves the highest score in the shortest amount of time, and top performers who are 18 years or older and U.S. citizens, will then be eligible to receive an invitation to one of the week-long Cyber Camps offered across the country. The three camps will be hosted by Delaware State University, Moraine Valley Community College (Illinois), and Southern Utah University.
Those who attend a USCC Cyber Camp will receive high level instruction from some of the nation’s most talented cybersecurity teachers and practitioners, participate in handson
lab activities, network with employers at the camp job fair, and compete in a capture-the-flag competition that challenges both their technical skill sets and their ability to work
in a team environment.
U.S. Cyber Challenge is supported in part through sponsorships by AT&T, Cyber Ninjas, Workday, NIC, PCM-G, Monster Government Solutions, Federal CIO Council, Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, Microsoft, SANS Institute, Lockheed Martin, AFFIRM, and Amazon Web Services.
For information about becoming a sponsor of a Summer Cyber Camp, contact Karen S. Evans, National Director at kevans@uscyberchallenge.org. To learn more about Cyber Quests, visit the website at USCC.CyberQuests.org. Details about the summer camps are on the U.S. Cyber Challenge website – www.USCyberChallenge.org.
###
About U.S. Cyber Challenge:
U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program of the Council on CyberSecurity (CCS), a
501(c)(3) organization, and has the mission to significantly reduce the shortage in the
cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place
the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The goal of U.S. Cyber Challenge is to
find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals
where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation. For more information, visit
www.USCyberChallenge.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Hanson
Phone: 847-337-1818
Email: Katie@ShermanConsultingInc.com

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