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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020

Now in its 17th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is back this October. The theme for 2020 is ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart’, helping to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. With COVID-19 still a real issue facing most of us, NCSAM has gone 100% virtual this year! Everything can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home, either through ZOOM or through one of the many browsers out there with no masks required! This year we have a TON of great content from all over the UC system, so we encourage you to attend all the events we have planned!

Click to see all Cybersecurity Awareness month activities and events!

Women in Cyber Security Panel - Hosted by UC Merced

This year, the highlight of our NCSAM will be our "Women in Cybersecurity" panel moderated by our AVC and CIO, Ann Kovalchick. Panelists will give their own unique perspectives on the triumphs and challenges that women face in the world of cybersecurity and will feature a Q&A session at the end to answer your questions. Register as soon as you can!

Meet our Distinguished Panelists:

•    Sureyya Tuncel, Information Security Analyst UC Riverside

As an Information Security Analyst, Sureyya Tuncel safeguards data assets and information technology resources UCR's faculty, staff, and students use and rely on every single day. Sureyya holds a BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. She started her career as a software developer and then moved to systems administration and security. She joined UCR's Information Security Office in 2018. Sureyya has over 20 years of IT experience in a variety of areas including systems and firewall administration, systems architecture, networks, services management, risk, policy compliance, vulnerability management, penetration testing, project management, and people management. She is a GIAC certified Penetration Tester (GPEN). As usually the only woman in the room throughout her career, Sureyya is very committed to supporting professional development and advancement of women, especially women in IT and Cybersecurity. She co-represents UCR in Women in Technology Committee (UC WIT) and has also been actively involved in the award-winning UC Women's Initiative Program both as a participant and as a UC facilitator.

•    Trinh Ngo, Senior Manager IT Compliance Blue Shield of California

Trinh Ngo is currently the Senior Manager of IT Compliance for Blue Shield of California. Trinh has over 25 years of experience delivering innovative technical solutions in financial services, entertainment, utilities and now healthcare. She has worked in multiple technology roles and was instrumental in the Market Redesign Technology Upgrade of California’s bulk electric utility operations and market. Prior to coming to Blue Shield of California, Trinh designed and implemented Compliance programs for various clients. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and an abundance of technical certifications, including the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Project Management Professional (PMP). Trinh has a passion for volunteerism and entrepreneurship. She is on the Board of Directors for ISACA Sacramento and gives her time to a non-profit that endeavors to prepare homeless women for reentry into the workforce.

•    Kathleen Bodi, Information Security Analyst UC Merced

Kathleen Bodi is an Information Security Analyst with over 17 years of experience in records management for healthcare and higher education. She holds a BS in Computer Science for software development and is currently pursuing an MS in Management Information Systems with a graduate certificate in cybersecurity. Kathleen has directly benefitted from a number of national initiatives directed at the promotion and advancement of careers for women in both technology and cybersecurity including being selected as a Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology Scholar in 2016, a SANS Cyber FastTrack Game Top-100 scholarship winner in 2019, and an (ISC)2 Graduate Student scholarship recipient in 2020. Kathleen's academic interests include data analytics, machine learning, big data, predictive analysis and cybersecurity.


•    Ann Kovalchick, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer at University of California, Merced.

Ann Kovalchick is Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer at University of California, Merced. With over 30 years of experience in the US and abroad leading organizations in the strategic use of digital technologies, Ann has designed, implemented, and managed digital resources and services across three domains: (1) as a communication tool that enables interaction and collaboration across and within organizations, (2) as a creative tool that enables communities and individuals to author, produce, present, and distribute content, (3) and as a knowledge management tool that increases individual and collective productivity and the achievement of learning, research, and business goals. Ann’s academic interests include organizational culture, change management, theories of sense-making in technology rich environments. Ann holds a Ph. D. in Instructional Design from the University of Virginia, an MA in Public Anthropology from American University, and a B.Sc. in Communication from Ohio University. Previously, she has served as CIO at Drake University, Deputy CIO at Tulane University, and Dir of Academic Computing at Ohio University.

Date: October 20th, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Registration link - Click here to register for the Women in Cybersecurity event!

The UC Merced Q Project

The Q Project’s mission is to foster investigative research of fundamental and applied questions across disciplines using big data analytics and appropriate computational methods; to discover big data analytics of complex questions; and to encourage broader participation in understanding the importance of cross-disciplinary research using big data analytics. The Q Project (“Q”) is a graduate student run organization furthering the diversity and advancement of the analyses of very large data sets in the sciences, with the collaborative assistance of the community and all interested students and faculty of the University of California, Merced. 

The Q runs CyberSecurity meetings every week, focusing on topics that affect the students, staff, and faculty of UC Merced. Anyone can attend their meetings, and the topics are always lively and interesting. For more information, and to sign up for their virtual meetings, please visit their website located at:

The UC Merced Q Project Website

There are also wonderful events happening all around the UC! Starting on October 1st, you can find informative and exciting events on topics ranging from Zoom security, emerging threats, cybersecurity for families, even cybersecurity games and tips on how to secure Box! There will be comedy events, a cybersecurity thriller, and more - there is guaranteed to be something for everyone! You can check out the full list of events on the UCOP National Cybersecurity Awareness Month website by clicking on the link below!

UCOP - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020

Here are just some of the amazing events you can look forward to!

True Eye -  Cinema Event - All Month!

True Eye is a thriller which follows new-hire, Adrian Bridges, through his first day at a global AI-technology firm. Adrian’s policy orientation and security training quickly spin into suspense and intrigue as his personal AI device, Guide, starts asking him to do unethical and even dangerous things with sensitive data. His adventure offers a glimpse into proper operational security, how technology affects people and what we can do about it.

Click to view the full movie here! 

Zoom Security and New Features!
October 7th 10:00am - 11:00am

This event hosted by UCSB will focus on the new and emerging features with Zoom and the steps you can take to increase your security with your Zoom meetings! Registration is free, but required for this event as we expect it to fill up quickly! 

Click to register here!


Information Security website redesign

UC Merced OIT Information Security has redesigned our webpages in order to offer more cybersecurity education and awareness for faculty, staff, and students as of October 2019. Some of our important new features include: