September 10, 2015

Encryption guidance

Data that are supported by federal funding must be protected by encryption that meets the federal encryption standard: FIPS 140-2.

If users are unsure about the sharing of UAB data, they can contact UAB IT's Enterprise Information Security unit for help determining the right protection to use.

7-Zip is open source software used to compress or zip files secured with encryption. When you send or transfer files that contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or other confidential and sensitive data the files must be encrypted to ensure they are protected from unauthorized disclosure.

7-Zip, like WinZip, creates a container called an archive that holds the files to be protected. That archive can be encrypted and protected with a password. 7-Zip is free software that can create Zip files that can be opened with WinZip or other similar programs.

To obtain a copy of 7-Zip please see http://www.7-zip.org/ and select the Download link.

Once the software is installed please follow these steps to encrypt a file or folder.

Step 1: Right click on the file / folder to be encrypted.

Step 2: Select “7-Zip” then “Add to archive…”

Step 3: In the Add to Archive window change the name of the archive you wish to create.

Step 4: Change the Archive format to “Zip."

Step 5: Change the Encryption Method to “AES-256."

There is a trade-off between using AES-256 and ZipCrypto. AES-256 is proven much more secure than ZipCrypto, but if you select AES-256 the recipient of the zip file may have to install 7-zip or another zip program to read the file contents. Selecting ZipCrypto may allow users to open the zip file in Windows without a zip program, but it does not provide adequate protection against attackers with modern cracking tools.

It is strongly recommended to use AES-256 to protect sensitive and confidential data.

Step 6: Enter a Password. Use a strong password with at least 8 characters and containing upper and lower letters and a minimum of one number.

Step 7: Select “OK” to create the encrypted archive file. The new archive file will be located in the same folder as the original.

Best security practices recommend that you do not email the password with the Zip file as it could be intercepted in transit. It is better to call the recipient of the Zip file and convey the password over the phone.




The UAB Enterprise Information Security Department (EISD) is sponsoring a National CyberSecurity Awareness Month Video Contest for currently enrolled undergraduate students.

The top three winning submissions will be announced via email and signage

There is no entry fee. The deadline for submission is noon, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015.


ELIGIBILITY: Prizes in this contest will be awarded to the best video submitted by an individual or group of currently enrolled undergraduate students. Participating students must be at least 19 years of age by September 5, 2015.

TO ENTER: During the contest period, sign up for a free YouTube account and follow the online instructions for registration.  The video’s format and size must follow YouTube’s video upload guidelines.

YouTube is not a sponsor of this contest.  Lastly the Contest Entry form must be read, completely filled out and submitted before the submission deadline.  Uploaded entries without a submitted entry form will be disqualified.  Groups cannot have more than four total members.

Your submission must:

  • Creatively demonstrate your perceived understanding of one of the following topic areas
    • Keep a Clean Machine
    • Protect Your Personal Information
    • Connect with Care
    • Be Web Wise
    • Be a Good Online Citizen
  • Be 1 minute or less in duration without credits
  • Must be an original and unique recording created by the submitters entered on the submitter form
  • Must be recorded during the submission period (September 5 – October 9).
  • Must comply with all of these submission guidelines and rules as stated in this document

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Submissions cannot misrepresent, defame, or have disparaging remarks about the University of Alabama at Birmingham its administration, staff, employees, faculty, students, services or products.  The EISD reserves the right to and will monitor or screen submissions prior to posting them.  By providing a submission, the submitter grants EISD an exclusive, perpetual, transferable license to copy, publish, broadcast, display, distribute, use, edit, translate, alter, combine with other material, reuse and adapt any or all portions of the submissions in any way and for any purpose whatsoever, at any time now or in the future.  Submissions that are not in accordance with the guidelines as stated herein or are not received by the contest submission deadline will be disqualified.  Submissions cannot (1) be sexually explicit or suggestive, violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, contain nudity or any materially dangerous activity; (2) promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message; (3) promote illegal behavior; (4) promote violence; (5) contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind (other than the UAB trademarks, logos, trade dress, brands or products); (6) contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, email addresses or street addresses without permission; (7) cannot be in violation of any of the local and national laws in the country of origin.

By submitting a submission you warrant and represent that it: (a) is your or your teams original work, (b) has not been previously published, (c) has not received previous awards, (d) does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; (e) that you/your team have obtained permission from a person who is used in the submission whose name, likeness or voice is used in the submission.

CONTEST JUDGING: During the contest judging period, submissions will be judged on the following criteria (1) 60 percent – delivery of topic; (2) 40 percent – originality & creativity.  The top three finalists will be determined by the highest cumulative scores awarded by the judges.  Tied submissions will be broken by the highest score awarded in the first topic criteria.  If the tie continues, then it will be broken by the highest score awarded in the second criteria.

PRIZE DETAILS: The first place prize of $250 will be awarded to the individual entry that receives the most votes.  Additional prizes may be awarded to the second and third place entries.

Protecting UAB's digital assets is one of our core responsibilities. As part of an initiative to protect UAB's assets and inventory servers and workstations, UAB IT is making Microsoft SCCM available at no cost to all areas of campus. 

Having all of the asset information in and managed by a single system is critical to maintaining a secure computing environment.
















The Microsoft Outlook mobile app will be blocked from accessing UAB mailboxes as of noon Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, because of security concerns. Individual users of the app will be notified.




UAB IT’s Enterprise Information Security team has determined that the Microsoft Outlook mobile app violates UAB’s Password/Passphrase Standard because it caches BlazerID passwords in a cloud service — posing a serious security risk.





UAB IT will be blocking the Microsoft Outlook mobile app from accessing UAB mailboxes, so you won’t be able to receive email through the app. The Outlook mobile app is essentially a rebranded app from a company called Acompli, which Microsoft purchased recently. Many universities and other entities are also taking the step to block the Outlook mobile app.




Native mail applications on iOS and Android are still safe for use.




  • Discontinue using the Outlook Mobile App and uninstall it from your device.
  • Change your BlazerID Password
  • Configure the standard mobile app for use with Exchange (employees) or Office 365 (students). 
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{slide=What does "caching in the cloud" mean?}

The Outlook mobile app captures each user’s BlazerID and password and stores them in a cloud service. UAB has no contract with — nor a security assessment from —the service, so UAB IT has no way of guaranteeing the safety of those BlazerIDs and passwords.





An official copy of this standard can be found in the UAB Policies and Procedures Library and on the UAB IT Information Security website in the IT Related Policies and Guidelines pageUAB’s password/passphrase standard states that applications should not cache BlazerID passwords/passphrases without an approved exception.





If you need help setting up a new mail app on your phone or mobile device, please contact AskIT@uab.edu or phone 205-996-5555.



October 28, 2014

IT Risk Bulletins

Each month, the chief information security officers for UA, UAB, UAB Medicine and UAHuntsville publish a monthly electronic newsletter to help users avoid IT errors.

October 2015 | Issue No. 10

September 2015 | Issue No. 9

Summer 2015 | Issue No. 8

March 2015 | Issue No. 6


February 2015 | Issue No. 5


January 2015 | Issue No. 4

December 2014 | Issue No. 3


November 2014 | Issue No. 2

October 2014 | Issue No. 1

UAB has contracted with DriveSavers to provide data recovery services for the UAB
community. DriveSavers is the only data recovery company in the industry that undergoes
annual SAS 70 Type II Audit Reports and is HIPAA compliant, offering the highest level of data
security available. DriveSavers is also compliant with FAR 52.224-2 (Privacy Act), ISO 17799,
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), the US government Data-At-Rest (DAR) mandate, the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the new regulation by National Institute of Standards and
Technology, NIST SP 800.34 (Rev. 1).


To view DriveSavers certifications, and learn more about Data Recovery Industry standards,
visit: http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/proof


Order Data Recovery Services click & follow instructions.

Report an Incident Now 

  1. Isolate the device

    Make sure the system is disconnected from the network. This is to protect UAB from any additional impact from the incident.

  2. Determine the affected data.

    Confirm whether or not sensitive data was housed on the compromised device. This includes employee, student, patient, or research data. Determine if any sensitive data was inappropriately accessed. If so, immediately escalate to both your local management and the UAB Data Security (https://silo.dso.uab.edu/incident or call 205-975-0842).

    If sensitive data is at risk, do not perform additional activity until you have spoken with Data Security.

  3. Perform Root Cause Analysis

    Establish the reason that the system was exploited.  Ask yourself these questions:

    • Did an end user install something harmful?
    • Was it caused by a weak password?
    • Was the system missing a patch?
  4. Remediate the issue

    The best way to restore a compromised machine is from a trusted backup or to do a clean installation. Even what used to be routine virus infections have become so advanced that we cannot trust a system once it's been infected.

    Perform password changes for end users and any administrators that may have used the system as well. This includes BlazerIDs and other accounts such as websites that were accessed from the compromised machines. Local Administrator passwords should also be changed.

  5. Reconnect to the network

    Once the system has been properly remediated, UAB Data Security, in conjunction with the HIPAA Security Office, will reconnect the machine to the network. This process can take up to 24 hours after the initial request.

    If you receive a notice saying the machine was compromised, the best way to get reconnected is to reply to that email.

    Otherwise, Please call 205-975-0842 or email DataSecurity@uab.edu for assistance.

January 01, 2012

Antivirus Software

UAB IT provides antivirus software for use by everyone at UAB, including your personal home systems. 

For home use (faculty/staff/students)



Windows
Please note: Microsoft Forefront went end-of-life in July 2015.

  • For home use on Windows 7 and Vista, UAB IT recommends Microsoft Security Essentials be installed on your Windows system. If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows Defender only removes Spyware. To get rid of viruses and other malware, including spyware, on Windows 7, Windows and Vista, you should download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. 

  • For home use on Windows 8, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. You cannot use Microsft Security Essentials with Windows 8 or Windows RT, but you don't need to because Windows Defender already provides built-in protection. Learn more about using Windows Defender on Windows 8.

Macs

  • For Mac/OS X use Sophos Anti-virus. Please click here and login to select Sophos from the available titles. NOTE: Sophos has released a new version which is compatible with Mac OSX El Capitan. It is available at the UAB software download site.

For system administrators


Windows
UAB IT recommends that system administrators on campus use System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) for antivirus and malware protection for campus computers.

System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 has several advantages over the scope of Microsoft Security Essentials:

  • Centralized reporting
  • Centralized monitoring
  • Centralized management
  • Automated network client deployment
  • Advanced Microsoft support is available through professional, premier and/or software assurance programs
  • Management of the host-based Windows Firewall policy via the SCCM policy configuration interface, allowing for configuration of endpoint security as well as allowing or denying connections.

System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 provides a single, integrated platform that reduces overall IT management and operating costs.

Click here for instructions on deploying SCCM.

UAB IT's recommendation is to deploy the SCEP agent within System Center, along with the inventory agent. There are many other features you may turn on or block from use within SCCM.

Macs

  • For Mac/(OS x) use Sophos Anti-virus. Please click here and login to select Sophos from the available titles.


January 01, 2012

Encryption

PGP Whole Disk Encryption software (or FileVault for Macs) is designed to provide an additional layer of security for your data. Encryption is required for laptops used for UAB Business, and it is highly recommended for desktops in theft-prone areas. PGP software essentially "locks down" your hard drive, making the data accessible only to you and those you authorize. The disk encryption, in conjunction with logon and screensaver passwords, protects UAB data if the computer is lost or stolen.

Encryption Methods:

 

Additional PGP Documentation:

 

Do you use your laptop for UAB business?

Do you provide your own tech support?

Has your laptop been encrypted?

If you answered yes to the first two questions but have not encrypted your laptop, you are encouraged to take advantage of the options listed below to protect UAB data by encrypting your laptop.

HSIS Customers: Please contact the Health System Information Services (HSIS) Help Desk at helpdesk@uabmc.edu or 205-934-8888 for assistance with laptop encryption.

AskIT Customers: Please choose from the options listed below or contact the AskIT help desk at 205-996-5555 for assistance with laptop encryption.

Laptop Encryption Options:

Option 1 - Option 1 - Let Us Do It For You-!
This option requires that the laptop is dropped off at one of our locations for at least 1-2 business days.  The following procedures will be performed on your machine:

  • Backing up your data
  • Verifying or installing antivirus software
  • Updating antivirus definitions and scanning for viruses
  • Scanning with hardware diagnostic software
  • Installing operating system updates
  • Defragmenting the hard drive
  • Encrypting your laptop

Option 2 - Do It Yourself: "How-To" Documentation & Training Videos 
This is a do it yourself option. Please refer to the documentation and training videos on the following topics for information on how to configure and encrypt laptop computers. 

  • How to create a strong password
  • How to configure your laptop
  • How to scan for missing patches
  • How to update applications
  • How to install OS updates
  • How to install antivirus
  • How to backup your machine
  • How to defragment your hard drive
  • How to run SpinRite hardware diagnostic software
  • How to encrypt your laptop

Please feel free to contact us with any questions through our help desk, AskIT, by email or phone at 205-996-5555.