Information Security Office

System Protection & Updates

Keeping operating system, application software & virus protection updated is one of the most effective ways to protect your workstation. Attackers continually research software vulnerabilities (weaknesses) to find new ways to break into computer systems. 

Applying software updates (aka - patching) on a regular basis is not only important for all computers but required for all systems that process protected information. It is also strongly recommended to enable automatic software updates to receive releases that address newly discovered vulnerabilities.

As with other security practices it is best to have multiple layers of protection on computer systems and the networks they connect to.

Use the following guidelines for defense-in-depth with your computer workstation.

•      Employ strong physical security practices in your office. These practices add additional protections.

Use a strong password on your workstation and do not share it with anyone. Avoid placing password notes in easily found areas (such as under keyboards or on monitors.) Keep usernames and passwords secret and keep them in secure locations. Change your passwords on a regular basis.

For strong password tips see Choosing a Secure Password.

•      Enable software firewall protection and check the logs on a regular basis. Learn more about what the logs are telling you.

•      Turn off computer when not in use for long periods of time. For short periods, enable screen saver password protection.

•      Do not install untested or unsupported software. Only use software necessary to complete necessary work tasks.

•      Use encryption technologies such as PGP Whole Disk Encryption and Virtual Disk. These technologies can also be used to USB drives.

Call the Technology Support Center for more information about installing PGP at 372-0999.

•      Backup important data because data loss can occur at any time. Data loss can occur from theft, corruption, natural disasters, drive failures, accidental file deletions and malware infections.

•      Use secure connection technologies such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) when communicating over public networks.