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RIT expert offers tips on staying safe with increased cybersecurity threats

ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute naming
A. Sue Weisler
RIT President David Munson, (r), with Ersin Uzun, (l), the Executive Director of ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute, and Faheem Masood, president and CEO of ESL, who announced an exclusive naming rights partnership for the institute on March 8, 2022.

There has been a lot of attention lately on the possibility of cyberattacks because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But one local expert said it’s always a good time to make sure you protect your online presence.

The advice comes from Ersin Uzin, who was recently named to head up the ESL Global Cybersecurity Institute at RIT, after a career in Silicon Valley.

That facility, which was renamed this week to include the ESL name, after that credit union made a $3 million commitment for the institute, works on a number of cyber research and development issues as well as training the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

Uzin said even if we haven’t seen major cyberattacks at this point in the U.S., there has been an uptick recently in cybercriminal activity.

“It’s hard to pinpoint sometimes, where the source is, but all indications are showing it might be related to the political conflicts and the landscape that we are seeing in the global world right now,” said Uzin.

In terms of your own online activity, at work or home, Uzin said it’s important to do the basics, keeping up with things like software security patches.

“Attackers and hackers choose to go after the lowest hanging fruit, so if you defend yourself enough or better than others, then the chances that you will see an attack dramatically reduces,” Uzin said.

Other cybersecurity tips from Uzin, include using strong and different passwords for the places you visit online, and consider using multi-factor authentication, so it takes more than just a password to get into your accounts.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.