May 2021 Newsletter

Simulated Phishing Campaigns

As we hear all too often in the news, cybercriminals target individuals and organizations to steal valuable information as well as inflict reputational damage. We all are at risk, not just at work, but in our personal lives as well. The most common attack is to use phishing emails to trick you into giving up your password or run a malicious attachment. This attack has proven effective against users across the Internet, and CUIMC is no exception.  
The CUIMC Information Security Office has responded to numerous attacks, which have included: 

  • Links to sites that are made to resemble our official Columbia websites 
  • Malicious email attachments often disguised as invoices or other important documents
  • Email addresses made to resemble those of trusted and high-ranking members of the University 

Some of these attacks have resulted in departments temporarily or permanently losing access to data. 

To help prevent issues and raise awareness, CUIMC conducts simulated phishing campaigns in which emails are sent to mimic real-world phishing scenarios. Clicking on a link within a simulated phishing email redirects the end-user to brief training content. 

Our specific goals are: 

  1. To help you identify and avoid phishing attacks
  2. To help keep you safe by ensuring you understand the risk this threat poses to you and the CUIMC community

Our latest campaign revealed that these simulations are spreading awareness in our community. Over the past five months, we have seen a reduction of almost 80% in link clicks during our simulations. Thank you for your help in making CUIMC a more secure organization.

As a reminder:

  • Be vigilant, especially with messages marked as External 
  • Don’t open documents/spreadsheets from sources you don’t recognize 
  • Don’t click strange links, even from trusted sources 
  • Never respond to an email requesting your credentials, or enter your credentials if prompted by a link to an unrecognized portal 
  • Report suspicious emails to

Service Desk 2.0

The new CUIMC IT Service Desk model launches improvements in several key areas: 

  • Website development is underway to enhance the user experience by improving search capabilities, streamlining access to the most requested resources, and refining knowledge base content to facilitate self-service
  • Video tutorials have been added, a new chat feature is available to connect with technicians, and students can now make appointments for remote support
  • Ongoing collaboration efforts to simplify and standardize cross-institutional processes along with an increased focus on the development of ServiceNow metrics will illuminate IT areas that can benefit from advancements and eliminate barriers to more effective service delivery leading to better support for our community

Tips & Tricks

Live chat with the Service Desk is now available!

  1. Go to the CUIMC IT “Get Help” Portal or use the shortcut:
  2. Log in and click on the purple icon in the bottom right. 

Chat is available Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm.

Additional details on contacting the Service Desk are available here.

Control F (or Command F on a Mac)

This tip will allow you to quickly search the text on any webpage, Microsoft Word document, or PDF. 

  • On a Windows computer, simultaneously hold down the “Control” (Ctrl) key and the “F” key
  • On a Mac, simultaneously hold down the “command” or “cmd” key and the “F” key 

This shortcut will bring up a search box you can use to enter the text you are looking for and works in Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF as well. 


Please contact with any questions regarding this publication.

Chad Neal
Chief Data Officer
Chief Information Officer
Columbia University Irving Medical Center