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Hacking Our Systems

“Hacking” our systems – a second layer of defence!

The number of “bad actors” out there continues to grow, and their methods become more and more sophisticated.  They typically hide behind the anonymity of the internet.  They try “phishing” emails, social engineering attempts, and more.  We all have a role to play in thwarting these cyber criminals.  Cyber security starts with us!

We continue to experience attempts to access privileged information and systems by unauthorized users.   There is a single technique that can help us defend against 99% of the malicious attempts to fraudulently access our information assets by stealing our online credentials.  It is called “Multi-Factor-Authentication” (MFA).

I need to reiterate, there are no “perfect” defense solutions, but as we move forward to enable MFA (multi-factor-authentication) this fall, we will be taking steps to deal with a significant majority of the potential weaknesses and breach-points in our systems.

“With over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts targeting Microsoft cloud services every day, Weinert says that enabling a multi-factor authentication solutions blocks 99.9% of these unauthorized login attempts, even if hackers have a copy of a user’s current password.

The 0.1% number accounts for more sophisticated attacks that use technical solutions for capturing MFA tokens, but these attacks are still very rare when compared to the daily hum of credential stuffing botnets.”

The snippet above is from an online trade magazine called ZDNet (full article can be found here). Additionally, here are links to three articles that were published in the Langara Post since the end of May:

  1. Cyber security – and you thought that was IT’s problem (May 24th, 2019)
  2. Protecting your online identity (June 25th, 2019)
  3. Cyber security breaches can happen to anyone… (August 2nd, 2019)

Over the fall and beyond, IT will be continuing to implement features to secure out environments by hardening our IT security. But it is everyone’s responsibility to be vigilant and take steps toe nsure we are protecting the security and privacy of our College community’s information.

If you believe you have seen or experienced any malicious or even suspicious online behaviour, please don’t hesitate to contact the IT department, or me personally at

David Cresswell

Chief Information Officer, Information Technology

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