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Cybersecurity training critical to protect our people and data

Cybercriminals are becoming more vigilant with each attempt to access our data and sensitive information. Cybersecurity is a top priority for Augusta University and the University System of Georgia, and mandatory cybersecurity training has been implemented twice a year.

Cybersecurity is critical because it includes everything that pertains to protecting our data and sensitive information. This information includes personally identifiable information, protected health information, personal information and intellectual property.

Cybersecurity risk continues to increase and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated. Organizations suffering from successful cyber attacks or data breaches are on the rise and we can no longer rely on firewalls and antivirus software as our sole security measures.

What is the next line of defense? You are.

Unfortunately, the common thread for some of the most significant threats today is our people. Cybercriminals are aware that people like our students, faculty and staff can provide details that make their exploits successful. Cyber threats can come from any level.

According to the 2020 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report, “28% of employees lack confidence in identifying a phishing email.” The report also indicated that employees are unaware of crucial risk factors relating to data security and privacy and what to do if they have been the target of an attack.

We must educate our staff about simple social engineering scams like phishing and more sophisticated cybersecurity attacks like ransomware attacks or other malware designed to steal intellectual property or personal data.

Cybersecurity Awareness Training has been mandated twice per year by the University System of Georgia. Mandatory training occurs in April and October. Cybersecurity awareness training will equip employees with the knowledge needed to combat these threats.

These days, security is everyone’s responsibility. Even seemingly harmless behaviors or small mistakes can have significant consequences. Security awareness training helps get everyone on the same page, reduces risks and incidents, and helps the entire enterprise protect both Augusta University and themselves.

You will be emailed details about how to access training as an employee or an associate with Augusta University or AU Health. Training must be completed no later than 5 p.m. May 31.

If you see any potential cybersecurity threats, call 72CYBER or 706-722-9237 immediately or forward malicious emails to

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and it will take our entire village to keep our data safe and secure. Please take the steps to protect our enterprise’s data and the public we serve.

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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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