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Inside the Georgia Cyber Center's Security Operations Center [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

Be cyber smart: October marks 20th Annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October marks the 20th anniversary of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity threat landscape continues to be challenging, dynamic and complex, but Augusta University remains steadfast in its commitment to leveraging IT risk management and information security practices to protect the confidentiality of students, patients, faculty and staff and to reduce adverse impacts on the university. 

In today’s emerging digital society, cyber threats continue to flourish. Every company that transmits or stores information digitally, large or small, can become a reachable target, and it only takes one person to give a criminal access. Malicious data security breaches can shut down institutions, costing thousands of dollars in ransom fees and can cause immeasurable damage to an enterprise’s reputation.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and cyber awareness training provides students, patients, faculty and staff with the knowledge needed to combat these threats. Augusta University has established cybersecurity as a top priority by conducting mandatory cybersecurity training bi-annually in April and October.

How can you protect Augusta University’s people and data?
  • Complete your mandatory bi-annual cybersecurity training.
  • Use strong, complex passwords or phrases of at least 10 characters.
  • Always verify that an email is not a phishing attempt.
  • Always be cautions of Duo requests.
How can you verify an email is not a phishing attempt?
  • Does it include requests to send personal information and credentials?
  • Does it include unfamiliar hyperlinks or attachments?
  • Does the sender’s email match an actual, active AU email?
What can you do to be cautious regarding Duo requests?
  • Did you initiate it? If not, deny.
  • Is the request coming from Augusta, GA, or your current location? If not, deny.
  • Is the request coming from your username? If not, deny.
What actions are required of me?
  • First, complete your mandatory training. Training must be completed by Nov. 10. If training is required of you, an email will be sent by KnowBe4 to your AU email.
  • If you see any potential cybersecurity threats, immediately report to 72CYBER or 706-722-9237 or forward malicious emails to Know when to call versus when to email by reviewing our Cyber Defense webpage

When in doubt regarding an email or Duo request, call 72CYBER at (706) 722-9237 or email and verify that it’s a genuine request.

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Written by
Staci Thompson

Staci Thompson is the communications specialist for Information Technology. Contact her at 706-721-3359 or

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Written by Staci Thompson

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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