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Update about new cybersecurity email banners

June 2, 2020

Dear Concordia community member, 

As part of the Concordia's cybersecurity program, Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) began applying warning banners to emails that originate from outside of the domain. 

For many people, such banners are familiar. Universities across Canada have been applying them for some time and they are commonplace in the private sector. However, some of you did respond with questions about the necessity of the banners, questions that we took seriously and sought to accommodate. 

Because of your feedback, we significantly shortened the message and changed its appearance. 

We believe it is important to keep these banners in a period where the phishing emails are on the rise and have been targeting university communities more aggressively than before. 

The intent of these banners is to help remind people that they should be particularly cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments from external parties. This is especially true if the email appears to be from someone at Concordia but contains a banner. When that is the case, IITS asks you avoid clicking any links and avoid sharing the message with colleagues. You can report the suspicious email to the Service Desk or just delete it. 

Ensuring optimal information security and cybersecurity is a collective responsibility. Though some of you may need some time to get used to the banner, we are confident that they will serve to reduce risk to both university data and your own personal information. 

Thank you, 

France Bigras
Associate Vice-President and CIO
Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS)
Concordia University


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