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We’ve got your back: the UCT CSIRT

16 Aug 2019 - 08:00

Compromised user accounts, stolen devices, virus/malware infections and data losses have become the norm across the world. The media are constantly reporting on security breaches where millions of user accounts have been accessed and data stolen or leaked. There have even been instances where companies and institutions have had to pay ransoms to get their information back.

Universities are also well known for housing contact details for thousands of staff and students, as well as for storing confidential research, financial, and medical information that may only be accessed by authorised staff.

UCT fights back

For this reason, UCT has established a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT). This formal UCT entity is tasked with the following actions:

- Respond to, control, and manage computer security incidents at UCT, and facilitate a speedy and safe resolution.

- Ensure the timely investigation and assessment of security incidents at UCT.

- Ensure “return to normal” operating conditions on the UCT network should it in any way be affected by a security incident.

- Speedily notify the UCT senior leadership group on campus of serious security incidents.

- Manage potential risks on campus and prevent the recurrence of incidents on campus.

- Provide education and advice on reporting and avoiding risks.

- Announce potential vulnerabilities and threats to hardware and software on campus.

Report IT-related security incidents immediately

UCT staff and students can log security incidents by either sending an email to uct-csirt@uct.ac.za or by completing the online form on the UCT CSIRT website. The team will investigate, and contact you if they require additional information. You’ll also be informed when the incident has been resolved.

Browse the UCT CSIRT website for more information about the work that team does. The site also offers advice on how you can protect your data, devices, and the UCT network – including tips on how to avoid being caught out by hackers.

Security remains an individual responsibility

Even though UCT has implemented various security measures to protect the environment and data, remember that each of us still needs to be security-conscious when working online or offline. By following the security advice offered by CSIRT, we can all play our part in keeping our devices, the UCT network, and UCT data secure.