Cybersecurity Focus: Use a VPN

GlobalProtect is available to all students, faculty and staff at no charge.
Art Miller

GlobalProtect is available to all students, faculty and staff at no charge.

When people hear the term virtual private network or VPN, they often believe it's too techy for them and there is no reason they should use one. But a VPN can secure personal data — whether traveling abroad or using free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop to browse Amazon — by encrypting data and routing it through a secure network.  

At our campus, GlobalProtect VPN is required for users who need to connect from off-campus to services not in the cloud, such as Remote Lab. GlobalProtect is available to all students, faculty and staff at no charge. If you must use a public network without VPN, make sure it is reputable and refrain from accessing sensitive information, such as Workday.  

GlobalProtect uses Microsoft's Azure secure multi-factor login system. Familiar services such as Office 365, UAConnect and Blackboard also use Azure to process logins. Multi-factor authentication provides increased protection of our data resources.  

Of note, access to your home or non-university printers, network drives, etc., will be blocked while connected to the VPN. This configuration prevents compromised devices located off-campus from harming university networks. 

Securing our campus community is an ongoing effort as cybercriminals continue to evolve their efforts. In this era of persistent cyber threats, our university can be secure only with the active participation of everyone. Simple steps like storing data securely in OneDrive, avoiding and reporting suspicious messages, and keeping software updated can go a long way toward protecting our campus community online. To learn more, visit the Cybersecurity Checklist.   

If you have questions or need assistance, contact your local IT support or the IT Help Desk.  

Contacts

Rachel Gerner, project/program specialist
University Information Technology Services
479-387-3824, rgerner@uark.edu

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