Faculty

Securing Your Computer

Securing Your Computer

This section provides information about all the software and instruction necessary to comply with the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard. The software on this page is intended for use by students, faculty, and staff at RIT. Inexperienced/non-technical users may want to check out our Digital Self Defense 101 Workshop, which explains the dangers of the Internet and RIT security requirements in greater detail.

Note: You do not have to use the specific software listed on this page. However, you should meet the requirements of the Desktop and Portable Computer Standard for your computer

Anti-Virus

RIT has licensed McAfee VirusScan software (available on the ITS Security & Virus Protection website) for use by students, faculty, and staff on  personally-owned computers. RIT-owned Windows computers will receive McAfee HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention Software).

It is not necessary to use this particular anti-virus; if you prefer, you may use any of the following products.

Product

License
Company

ClamAV (Linux)

Free for personal use

Open Source

ClamXAV2 (Mac)

Free for personal use

Open Source

Norton Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Symantec

Trend Micro Anti-Virus

One year paid subscription

Trend Micro

avast! Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

ALWIL Software

AVG Anti-Virus

Free for personal use

Grisoft

Anti-Spyware

This should already be built into current anti-virus software.  A separate program is not needed.

Firewalls

Windows 7, Vista, XP, and Mac OS X all come with built-in firewalls; Resnet provides instructions on how to configure these built-in firewalls. If you do not want to use this firewall, RIT recommends the basic ZoneAlarm free firewall for Windows users Other firewall options may be provided by your Internet Service Provider. 

Patching/Updating

Regardless of what operating system you run, it should be up-to-date on all security patches; the easiest way to do this is to turn on the automatic update feature. Learn how to enable automatic updates for Windows and keep your Mac up-to-date automatically

Users of other operating systems such as Linux, Unix, etc., are also required to keep their operating systems up-to-date on security patches.

Software Applications should also be kept up-to-date. This can usually be done from within the program itself or through the vendor's website; some programs have an automatic update feature. Use the links below to find updates for Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe software.

ISO-Approved Private Information Management Software

  • Identify Finder (Windows, Mac)
  • Cornell Spider (Linux only)

Identity Finder and PIMI Quick Links

Requirements for Faculty/Staff

Faculty and Staff

Security Standards

Standard

When does it apply?

Desktop and Portable Computer Standard Always
Password Standard Always
Information Access & Protection Standard Always
Computer Incident Handling Standard Always
Portable Media Standard If you are storing Private or Confidential information on portable media, such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory. If you must store Private information on portable media, the media must be encrypted.
Web Security Standard
If you have a web page at RIT, official or unofficial, and you:
  • Own, administer, or maintain an official RIT web page that hosts or provides access to Private or Confidential Information.
  • Use RIT authentication services
Signature Standard If you are sending out an e-mail, MyCourses, or Message Center communication relating to Institute academic or business purposes. This applies to both RIT and non-RIT e-mail accounts.
Server Security Standard If you own or administer any production, training, test, or development server, and/or the operating systems, applications or databases residing on it.
Network Security Standard
If you own or manage a device that:
  • Connects to the centrally-managed Institute network infrastructure
  • Processes RIT Confidential or Operationally Critical information
Account Management
  • If you create or maintain RIT computer and network accounts.
  • Managers reporting changes in access privileges/job changes of employees.
Solutions Life Cycle Management
RIT departments exploring new IT services (including third-party and RIT-hosted, and software as a service) that meet any one or more of the following:
  • Host or provide access to Private or Confidential information
  • Support a Critical Business Process
Disaster Recovery

For business continuity and disaster recovery.  Applies to any RIT process/function owners and organizations who use RIT information resources.

NOTE The “in compliance by” date for this standard is January 23, 2016.
Authentication Service Provider Standard

If you are providing authentication services on network resources owned or leased by RIT.

NOTE The Authentication Service Provider Standard will retire on January 23, 2015 and be replaced by the Account Management Standard.

All instances of non-compliance with published standards must be documented through the exception process.

Information Handling Quick Links

Link Overview
Digital Self Defense 103 - Information Handling Covers important security issues at RIT and best practices for handling information safely.
Disposal Recommendations How to safely dispose of various types of media to ensure RIT Confidential information is destroyed.
Recommended and Acceptable Portable Media List of recommended and acceptable portable media devices (such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory).
Mobile Device Usage Recommendations Recommendations for mobile device usage at RIT
VPN Recommended for wireless access to RIT Confidential information.
E-mail at RIT Improve the security of your e-mail at RIT.

Safe Practices

  • Visit our Keeping Safe section to find security resources and safe practices and to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

Questions

If you have questions or feedback about specific information security requirements, please contact us.

Plain English Guide to the Information Security Policy

Plain English Guide to the Information Security Policy 

RIT has issued an Information Security Policy. The Policy provides the strategic direction needed to implement appropriate information safeguards for RIT information and the Institute network. This Plain English Guide provides explanation and illustration of the Policy and is provided as an aid to help you understand and implement the requirements of the Policy. The Policy itself is authoritative. The policy is effective immediately.

Why did RIT issue the policy?

The Policy authorizes RIT to take reasonable measures to protect RIT information and computing assets in an age that is both reliant on electronic media and characterized by increasing Internet-borne threats. These measures apply to RIT information and the technology infrastructure.

In recent years, state and federal legislation have mandated specific protections for different types of information, including educational records (FERPA), financial customer information (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), health information (HIPAA), and private information (NYS Information Security Breach and Notification Act).

Why is the information lifecycle important?

The information lifecycle concept and its associated stages (creation, storage, transfer, and destruction) provide a useful framework for information handling. For example, during the creation stage, the creator of the information determines who should have access to the information and how that access is to be granted. During the destruction stage, "out-of-date" information or information used only occasionally may be without appropriate protection and be at greater risk.

What are the roles of Safeguards and Controls?

Most of the legislation above requires affected organizations to explain how they know people don’t have unauthorized access to information. Controls provide the best way of ensuring information protection. Controls can be process based (administrative controls), or technology based (technical controls). Controls focus on one or more of the following: problem prevention, problem detection, or problem correction.

How has RIT implemented this policy?

RIT has implemented the Information Security Policy by conducting risk assessments, issuing and enforcing standards, raising awareness of threats, recognizing best practices, and maintaining relationships with a number of security-focused external entities for benchmarking and sharing of resources.

More specifically,

  • RIT has designated specific individuals, including the RIT Information Security Officer, to identify and assess the risks to non-public or business-critical information within the Institute and establish an Institute-wide information security plan
  • The RIT Information Security Office creates and maintains standards to protect RIT information systems and its supporting infrastructure, ensure workforce information security, and guide RIT business associates and outsource partners. The creation of these standards is mandated by policy and is in response to the risks that the Institute faces. They are Institute-wide standards, created with representation from across RIT. See our Policies and Standards page for the list of current standards and information about how standards are developed.
  • The RIT Information Security Office provides awareness and training workshops, including its Digital Self Defense classes to help RIT users in the responsible use of information, applications, information systems, networks, and computing devices.
  • The RIT Information Security Office encourages the exchange of information security knowledge through ongoing engagements with security-focused groups, such as Educause, the New York State Cyber-Security Critical Infrastructure Coordination group, InfraGard, and others.
  • RIT periodically evaluates the effectiveness of information security controls in technology and process through risk assessments.

 

To whom does the policy apply?

The policy applies to the entire RIT community, including RIT employees, student employees, volunteers, and external business associates. Standards articulate how you follow the policy. Each standard has a different scope and may apply to different parts of or activities engaged in by the RIT population.

What do I have to do?

You need to follow all Information Security Policy requirements as articulated in the standards. See our Policies and Standards page for a current list of standards.

Where do I go for more information?

Read the policy and its associated standards. Contact the RIT Information Security at infosec@rit.edu if you have more questions.

 

Signature Standard

Signature Standard

RIT uses a standardized signature to make authentic Institute communications easily recognizable. Uses of common signature elements by senders will help recipients detect counterfeit e-mails and phishing attempts. For more information, see the Signature Standard.

Who do the requirements apply to?

The requirements apply to:

  • All senders of e-mail related to Institute academic or business purposes sent by RIT faculty or staff using an RIT or non-RIT e-mail account. (The standard also applies to course-related e-mail sent via the RIT MyCourses system.)
  • All creators of Message Center communications.
  • E-mail messages sent from portable devices.
 

The requirements do not apply to:

  • Personal e-mail and e-mail sent by students. RIT students are encouraged to create an e-mail signature which makes their e-mail easily identifiable as authentic.

What do I have to do?

All e-mail or Message Center communications that support academic or business functions should contain the following:

  1. The name of the sender. (A department name is not an acceptable substitute for the name of a sender.)
  2. The name of the RIT-Specific organization or department the sender represents.
  3. A university telephone number, building address, and e-mail address (where available) that the recipient may use to contact the sending department with questions or to verify the authenticity of the e-mail. Web addresses may be included, but may not be the primary means of contact.
  4. The official RIT Confidentiality Statement, found at http://www.rit.edu/fa/legalaffairs/confidential.html
    Note that the Confidentiality Statement is not required for e-mails containing only Internal or Public information (e.g., mass communications such as Message Center, or mass mailings to external audiences such as prospective students, parents, etc.)

 

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