Sending PII
Sending Social Security numbers or medical record numbers via email can make you or others more vulnerable to identity theft.

UAB IT will soon implement policy tip warnings via email if it appears you are trying to send a Social Security number or medical record number via your UAB email account.

These warnings are intended to alert you to potential danger and help you protect your data and the information of others.

The popup policy tip will say: "The content of this email appears to conflict with UAB Policy regarding unsecured transmission of Social Security numbers, medical record numbers or other personally identifiable information. Be safe and review the email content before sending."

With the introduction of the policy tip, emails will not yet be blocked from being sent. But emails that appear to include Social Security or medical record number information will eventually be blocked — both in incoming and outgoing emails.

A policy tip has already been established to prevent UAB email users from sending credit card numbers.

“Sending credit card information, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other personal or financial information is extremely dangerous and could leave you or others vulnerable to identity theft,” said Brian Rivers, assistant vice president and chief information security officer. “Our goal with these policy tips is to help protect our students, faculty and staff.”
UAB IT has completed the migration of all faculty and staff email accounts to Office 365.

The change allows UAB faculty and staff to take advantage of the same email system used by students. Office 365 is a cloud-based system that offers new tools and continues upgrades to improve the service and environment.

The new link to online mail is mail.uab.edu. That email link will be changed on the UAB Quicklinks, which appears on all UAB web sites, on Wedesday, July 12.

Learn more about Office 365 here.
Splunk UAB Innovation Depot 08

Technology leaders from the Birmingham area met at Innovation Depot June 29 with officials from Splunk to explore ways to coauthor future educational programs.

Splunk is the leading platform for real-time operational intelligence. Their technology is a standard for security professionals, and having people trainined in Splunk is exponentially beneficial.

Innovate Birmingham, which graduated its first class of new technology professionals last spring, could be a new site for Splunk training. Innovate Birmingham, led by UAB and a network of 15 partners from the education and tech sectors, is funded by a $6 million America’s Promise grant and is designed to establish a pipeline of local talent to fuel innovation for local employers. Students can receive grants and scholarships to attend the educational training program, which is broken up into individual cohorts, each focused on a different area of technology.

Corey Marshall, director of Splunk4Good, said he was impressed by the partnership already in place in Birmingham.

“I know you guys say you have something special here, but I don’t think you realize how special this really is,” he said.

Marshall said he was impressed with the structure, space and support that Innovation Depot, along with its partners, provides to the Birmingham community, and said he could see the program being used as a model for other cities.

Splunk could provide valuable content and insight that is founded on their technological expertise. This potential partnership with Splunk would bring more opportunities to the students in the Innovation Depot training programs as companies have already expressed their interest in hiring the graduates trained by Splunk.

Other opportunities for Splunk could include corporate training for Birmingham businesses as many companies currently have to send their trainees out-of-state or online to receive training.

Innovate Birmingham’s first graduating cohort, focused on computer support, had an employment rate of 75 percent at graduation and 100 percent within one month of graduation. The latest cohort started in June 2017 and is focused on developer training in corporate partnership with Covalence. The goal of these programs is not merely focused on yield but rather community and economic impact for the long term.

“The students applying for this program are not doing so because their mom sent them. They are doing this because they have the drive and desire to improve their life and the life of their families,” UAB Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. said.

UAB IT hired two graduates from Innovate Birmingham’s first cohort, both of whom are working in AskIT.
A new ransomware cyberattack called “Petya” is spreading globally and infecting computers, allowing malicious attackers to demand ransom payments to restore data.

The attack is similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack that spread a few weeks ago. Experts believe the initial infection comes from an email attachment, possibly a Microsoft Word attachment.

Some tips to avoid falling for Petya (also called Petwrap):

  • Patch your Windows-based computers and update your Microsoft Office suite. Contact AskIT if you have any questions.
  • Be extremely vigilant when opening email from anyone with whom you are not familiar.
  • If you receive email from an unknown sender, be cautious about replying, opening an attachments or clicking on links or graphics in the email.
  • If you believe you have received a suspicious email, click the “PhishMe Reporter” button in your Outlook or forward the email to phishing@uab.edu.
  • Be cautious about attachments you were not expecting. Even if you receive an email from someone you know, that person’s email may have been infected with ransomware. Contact the sender by phone to make sure the attachment is legitimate.
  • Be wary of emails with incorrect grammar or spelling, or messages in which the signature does not match the sender’s name.
  • Do not click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted web address in your browser, or Google for the web site if you don’t know the address.
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