An Open Letter to the Illinois Tech Community on Cybersecurity

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Cybersecurity and keeping our community safer and more secure online is of the utmost priority.

The Office of Technology Services (OTS) appreciates not only the importance of cybersecurity but the balance that needs to be maintained to provide a secure but functional computing environment for learning, teaching, research, and engagement. This can sometimes be challenging, as I am sure you realize from watching the nightly news or reading articles about the increase in instances of “bad-actor” actions – e.g., intrusions, malware, viruses, etc. – against governments, businesses, and academia.

In recognizing that these threats will only multiply, Illinois Tech has asked OTS to create a new department, namely Cyber-Tech Security (CTS), under the guidance of Louis McHugh as Director. CTS is tasked with the following:

  • Developing and leading the university’s cybersecurity positioning from a tactical, operational, and strategic perspective;
  • Minimizing the number of cybersecurity issues/risks that the university may face; and
  • Creating and fostering a “Culture of Security” at Illinois Tech.

In a recently published article in Forbes that asks the question, “What is ‘Security Culture’?,” the author explains that “[i]t is the ideas, customs, and social behaviors of an organization that influence its security.” In other words, YOU are the most crucial element in Illinois Tech’s security strategy. IIT is going to need the help of each one of us to champion security at our university so we can foster the type of culture that will help protect our information, data, and privacy.

Since the inception of CTS this summer, the team has already formed and met with the new Cybersecurity Steering Committee containing representation from students, faculty, and staff. This Committee will advise, provide feedback, and help us to understand your voice, the community voice, as we strive to create the aforementioned balance. The Committee will partner with CTS to champion the importance of cybersecurity to every one of us. In addition, some initial projects and security-related practices are already underway.

More information about these projects and practices to follow.

Thank you in advance for your partnership in this effort.

Best Regards,

Ophir Trigalo

Vice Provost and CIO