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Security Recommendations for Desktop Computers

Audience:

All members of the Northwestern Community and users of the University network.

Policy Statement:

N/A

Background Issues:

Computers are constantly subjected to attempts to exploit system and application vulnerabilities. NUIT offers these recommendations to bolster:

In addition to the above suggestions, NUIT recommends a regular backup strategy. It should be noted that even with all the procedures listed above, there is still the possibility of a virus infection or hacker compromise. Backing up data on a regular basis (daily and/or weekly) will lessen the damage caused by the loss of a machine.

When a compromised machine is detected, Northwestern IT security may shut the port off or quarantine the device; this will isolate the desktop computer until it can be rebuilt.

NOTE: Do not move or connect a compromised machine to another active port – this will result in that port also being shut off as the compromised machine is detected.

Once the computer has been rebuilt and brought current, and NUIT security notified, the port will be returned to active status.

If a department has its own servers, Northwestern IT security personnel can scan the servers, Web sites and Web applications for vulnerabilities upon request. See the Vulnerability Assessment Program for details. These departments would also benefit from having their administrator join the UNITS listserv, the security listservs and the specific alert listserv (used when shutting off ports).

Original Issue Date:

July 2002

Revision Dates:

July 2003

August 2007

November 2011

December 2016

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