Mobile

Using LinkedIn’s New Two-Factor Authentication

The growing trend in sites adding two-factor authentication to their log in process has many feeling more secure in their social media and other online interactions.

With passwords being easy to compromise with phishing attacks, many users have been hoping for something more secure.  Two-factor authentication gives a double protection on your account, requiring you to know something (your password), and have something in your possession (a token).  The token can be any number of devices, cards or other physical items, often generating unique codes as proof you have the object.  Think of ATMs.  You need to have the ATM card (the token) and know your PIN in order to access your account and do any transactions at the ATM.  One without the other and you can’t get in.

LinkedIn is using a single-use code sent via SMS to whatever mobile number is listed on the account.  Your mobile device serves as your token.  This code is entered into the site after you enter your password to complete the two-factor authentication.  The idea behind this is if your password happens to be cracked or phished, as long as you don’t lose or compromise your phone, you are still safe from attackers logging into your account (though you should change your passwords and do a virus scan to be safe if your password gets compromised!).  

Want to enable this security feature for your own LinkedIn account? LinkedIn provides some instructions here:  http://www.slideshare.net/linkedin/two-step-verification-on-linked-in.  

Many other sites have similar security features so check out your account settings and give yourself an extra layer of protection.

SECURITY NOTES:

As with any security chain, there are ways this could possibly be compromised.  The easy way is if an attacker knows your password and stole your phone.  A more sophisticated way is if you get phished for both your password and the code just sent to you, and the attacker users both before the code expires.  How likely could these happen?  Well that’s up to your security prowess.  Read more on our website about creating secure passwords (https://www.rit.edu/security/content/password), avoiding phishing attempts (https://www.rit.edu/security/content/phishing) and best practices when it comes to mobile device security (https://www.rit.edu/security/content/mobile-devices). 

Requirements for Faculty/Staff

Faculty and Staff

Information Handling Quick Links

Link Overview
Digital Self Defense 103 - Information Handling Covers important security issues at RIT and best practices for handling information safely.
Disposal Recommendations How to safely dispose of various types of media to ensure RIT Confidential information is destroyed.
Recommended and Acceptable Portable Media List of recommended and acceptable portable media devices (such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory).
Mobile Device Usage Recommendations Recommendations for mobile device usage at RIT
VPN Recommended for wireless access to RIT Confidential information.
E-mail at RIT Improve the security of your e-mail at RIT.

Safe Practices

  • Visit our Keeping Safe section to find security resources and safe practices and to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

Questions

If you have questions or feedback about specific information security requirements, please contact us.

Requirements for Students

Requirements for Students

 

Standard

When does it apply?

Desktop and Portable Computer Standard

Always

Password Standard

Always

Signature Standard

Always - All authentic RIT communications should include an appropriate signature as per the standard. Make it a habit to check for an authentic signature when receiving messages from RIT.

Web Security Standard

If you have a web page at RIT, official or unofficial, and you:
  • Host or provide access to Confidential information. If you’re hosting or providing access to Private information, contact us at infosec@rit.edu immediately. Private or confidential information is defined in the Information Access and Protection Standard.
  • Use RIT authentication services

Computer Incident Handling Standard

If the affected computer or device:
  • Contains Private or Confidential information
  • Poses a threat to the Institute network

Network Security Standard

If you own or manage a device that:
  • Connects to the centrally-managed Institute network infrastructure
  • Processes Confidential information. If you’re providing access to Private information, contact us at infosec@rit.edu immediately.

Portable Media Standard

If you are storing Private or Confidential information on portable media, such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory.

Networking Devices

  • Currently, personal networking devices used on the RIT residential network (such as routers, switches, etc.) do not need to meet the Network Security Standard. Resnet has created separate guidelines for Using a Router/Wireless Router on the RIT Network.

Safe Practices

  • Visit our Keeping Safe section to find security resources and safe practices and to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

Questions

If you have questions or feedback about specific information security requirements, please contact us.

Mobile Devices

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are not always designed with security in mind and, as a result, are not as secure as most computers.

There are a number of ways in which information on a mobile device may be breached: theft of the device, attacks on your service provider, wireless hijacking or "sniffing", and unauthorized access. Because mobile devices may be more easily stolen or compromised, users of these devices must take precautions when using them to store or access Private or Confidential information. 

Private Information and Mobile Device Use

We recommend that Private Information NOT be accessed from or stored on mobile devices. If Private Information must be accessed from or stored on a mobile device, then the information on the mobile device must be encrypted. Password protection alone is NOT sufficient.

To ensure that RIT information will remain secure, you should use only devices that provide encryption while information is in transit and at rest. 

Security requirements for handling RIT Private, Confidential, and other information may be found in the Information Access and Protection Standard.

General Guidelines for Mobile Device Use at RIT

Understand your device

  1. Configure mobile devices securely. Depending on the specific device, you may be able to:
    1. Enable auto-lock. (This may correspond to your screen timeout setting).
    2. Enable password protection.
      1. Use a reasonably complex password where possible.
      2. Avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names or passwords.You may want to use a password safe application where available.
    3. Ensure that browser security settings are configured appropriately.
    4. Enable remote wipe options (third party applications may also provide the ability to remotely wipe the device; if you're connecting to mymail.rit.edu with ActiveSync for email and calendaring, you may wipe all data and applications from your device remotely from mymail.rit.edu).
  2. Disable Bluetooth (if not needed). This will help prolong battery life and provide better security.
  3. Ensure that sensitive websites use https in your browser url on both your computer and mobile device.
  4. Know your mobile vendor's policies on lost or stolen devices. Know the steps you need to take if you lose your device. Report the loss to your carrier ASAP so they can deactivate the device.
  5. Use appropriate sanitation and disposal procedures for mobile devices.

Use added features

  1. Keep your mobile device and applications on the device up to date. Use automatic update options if available.
  2. Install an antivirus/security program (if available) and configure automatic updates if possible. Like computers, mobile devices have operating systems with weaknesses that attackers may exploit.
  3. Use an encryption solution to keep portable data secure in transit and at rest. WPA2 is encrypted. 3G encryption has been cracked. Use an SSL (https) connection where available.

General tips                

  1. Never leave your mobile device unattended.
  2. Report lost or stolen devices and change any passwords (such as RIT WPA2) immediately.
  3. Include contact information with the device:
    1. On the lock screen (if possible). For example, "If found, please call RIT Public Safety at 585-475-2853."Engraved on the device. Inserted into the case.
  4. For improved performance and security, register your device and connect to the RIT WPA2 network where available.
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