The Digital Fortress: A Crash Course in UBC Network Security

The Digital Fortress: A Crash Course in UBC Network Security

February 01, 2024

Welcome, savvy scholars, to the digital realm where knowledge flows like bits and bytes! Just as students safeguard their textbooks from curious roommates, and staff protect their leftovers in the staff lunch room, it's time to don your digital armor and explore the exciting world of network security. In this article, we'll embark on a cyber-adventure, armed with metaphors and quick tips, to fortify our university's digital gates.

Understanding the Digital Battlefield:

Imagine UBC’s network as a bustling city where information zips around like students on electric scooters. Now, every city needs robust defenses to keep the mischief-makers at bay, and so does our network! The firewalls and antivirus programs act like vigilant security guards, ensuring only the right information gets through.

  1. (Fire) Walls:
    • In our digital kingdom, firewalls are like the towering walls and trusty moats surrounding the city, keeping out unwanted invaders. They act as gatekeepers, inspecting every piece of data entering or leaving the network, actively patrolling and thwarting any suspicious activities.
  2. Guard Towers (Antivirus Software):
    • Just as guard towers provide a watchful eye over the city, antivirus software scans our digital domain for malicious software (malware).
  3. Encryption (Invisible Cloaks):
    • Imagine your data wearing an invisible cloak as it travels through the digital realm. Encryption ensures that even if information falls into the wrong hands, it remains indecipherable without the proper key. Don't forget to enable HTTPS when traversing the web – it's like sending a secret message in a locked box.

Quick Tips for Every Cyber Knight:

  1. Strengthen Your Shield (Update Your Devices): Imagine your device's updates as magical spells that strengthen your digital shield. Wizards (developers) work tirelessly to fix vulnerabilities, so don't ignore those update prompts! Cast the spell and stay protected.
  2. Passwords: Your Digital Castle Key: Your password is like the key to your digital castle. Make it strong and unique! UBC recommends creating a passphrase of at least 16 characters. Passphrases are easy for you to remember but too long for someone to guess. Consider installing a password management application to create unique passwords for all of your needs and secure that list of passwords with a common master password.
  3. Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) for an impenetrable fortress: Activate MFA on all of your personal accounts. MFA is mandatory for all UBC applications that use a Campus-wide Login (CWL). We recommend that you implement MFA on any non-UBC accounts wherever possible to add an extra layer of security. Adding MFA is like adding an extra gate to your castle. Even if someone gets hold of your password, they'll still need a secret code to open the lock.
  4. Educate Fellow Scholars: Share your knowledge! The more aware everyone is, the safer our university becomes. It's like forming a superhero alliance against digital villains.

As we navigate the intricate web of university networks, let's be vigilant digital knights, guarding our academic stronghold from the shadows of the cyber realm. By understanding the metaphorical walls, guard towers, and invisible cloaks that fortify our digital fortress, and by implementing quick tips to bolster our defenses, we can ensure a secure and resilient academic journey. Remember, in the kingdom of the internet, knowledge is power, but cybersecurity is our mighty sword!


Go even further: Discover some of the real challenges being faced in the University Kingdom