Information Security is critically important to the University from a compliance and risk management perspective. It is also important because ultimately Information Security is about protecting personal information about people as well as the incredible research that is conducted at McMaster. From my perspective, the goals of Information Security are to encourage everyone to consider what they collect and how they handle personally identifiable information and intellectual property. To ensure they employ safe practices, follow guidelines and procedures, and to know when to report issues so they can be addressed in a timely manner. Again, it is all about protecting each and every one, and providing people the guidance to protect not only McMaster but themselves also from the ever growing concern of cyber-attacks and loss of our personal identities.
The University’s greatest asset is information. It is important to protect and preserve this asset so that students, researchers and staff can maximize its benefits. This includes ensuring that information is not used in a manner otherwise intended.
As technology becomes increasingly pervasive in our professional and personal lives—not only on our phones and computers, but embedded in even the most mundane devices like thermostats, refrigerators, and cars—cybersecurity, likewise, becomes increasingly indispensable. It is essential that all stakeholders—whether engineer, developer, provider, or end-user—understand the inherent security risks of a technology, and implement a coordinated response to mitigate these threats. The IT groups on campus can, with the cooperation of users, help evaluate and coordinate this response on campus and beyond.
In today’s ever-changing world, digital security is consistently challenged with new threats developing daily. As a student, information security is important, as it’s the barrier that stands between me and the complex threats on the web. This protection ensures the systems that I use daily for my studies and assignments, maintain a reliable uptime and perform the required tasks as efficiently as possible. Most importantly, it allows me to use the full potential of the internet, without compromising my personal privacy, the privacy of my work, and my own safety.
Because I conduct research involving human participants, information security matters to me because not only do I have the obligation to keep my data safe for accuracy purposes, I also want to ensure that when study participants entrust their information to me, that I do everything I can to protect their privacy and to uphold the ethical principles of justice, respect for persons, and concern for their welfare. I figure that if I were a study participant, that’s how I’d like to be treated.
Today’s Students do not function outside of the digital realm. Students expect a learning environment that functions through this medium. This use of technology has its pros and cons. With internet access, Wi-Fi sharing of files and the speed of information transfer, the exchange of knowledge is much easier than it has ever been in the past. That said, this means that the need for increased online and internet security is now paramount to the functioning of learning in modern higher education – higher education that attempts to engage students in multiple ways of learning. I use the online environment not only for delivery of curricular content, student assignment uploads and sharing of grades, but also as a safe and unbiased arena for engagement of students on a much more personal level. I want my students to be able to discuss, debate and share their personal thoughts, opinions and beliefs about what they are learning. This type of student engagement cannot happen without high levels of internet security.