Standard

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

Spyware is very difficult to detect. Unlike anti-virus software, it may be preferable to run multiple spyware programs.

The License for Spybot Search & Destroy (available on the ITS Security & Virus Protection website) is free for use by faculty, staff, and students on both Institute-owned and personal computers. Be wary of other anti-spyware products - many products advertised actually contain spyware themselves! Additional spy-ware products we recommend can be found below.

Product

License

Company

SpywareBlaster

Free for personal and educational use

Brightfort

Microsoft Security Essentials

Free for personal use on Vista and Windows 7

Microsoft

MacScan

Free (for Mac computers ONLY)

SecureMac

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)

Requirements for Faculty/Staff

Faculty and Staff

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.

Requirements for Students

Requirements for Students

 

Standard

When does it apply?

Desktop and Portable Computer Standard

Always

Password Standard

Always

Signature Standard

Always - All authentic RIT communications should include an appropriate signature as per the standard. Make it a habit to check for an authentic signature when receiving messages from RIT.

Web Security Standard

If you have a web page at RIT, official or unofficial, and you:
  • Host or provide access to Confidential information. If you’re hosting or providing access to Private information, contact us at infosec@rit.edu immediately. Private or confidential information is defined in the Information Access and Protection Standard.
  • Use RIT authentication services

Computer Incident Handling Standard

If the affected computer or device:
  • Contains Private or Confidential information
  • Poses a threat to the Institute network

Network Security Standard

If you own or manage a device that:
  • Connects to the centrally-managed Institute network infrastructure
  • Processes Confidential information. If you’re providing access to Private information, contact us at infosec@rit.edu immediately.

Portable Media Standard

If you are storing Private or Confidential information on portable media, such as USB keys, CDs, DVDs, and flash memory.

Networking Devices

  • Currently, personal networking devices used on the RIT residential network (such as routers, switches, etc.) do not need to meet the Network Security Standard. Resnet has created separate guidelines for Using a Router/Wireless Router on the RIT Network.

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.

Exception Process

Exception Process and Compliance

Anyone not in compliance with an Information Security Standard is subject to sanctions including suspension of computer and network privileges and/or the full range of current Institute personnel and student disciplinary processes.

In a small number of circumstances, it may not be possible to comply with an Information Security Standard.   The Information Security Office has provided the following method for obtaining an exception to compliance with a published information security standard.  Exceptions should be approved and signed by the President, a VP or Dean, or the CIO, as appropriate. (An email endorsing the exception request is acceptable.)

An exception MAY be granted by the RIT Information Security Office for non‑compliance with a standard resulting from:

  • Implementation of a solution with equivalent protection.
  • Implementation of a solution with superior protection.
  • Impending retirement of a legacy system.
  • Inability to implement the standard due to some limitation

 

Exceptions are granted for a specific period of time, not to exceed two years and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and their approval is not automatic.

The Exception Request should include:

  • Description of the non-compliance
  • Anticipated length of non-compliance
  • Proposed assessment of risk associated with non-compliance
  • Proposed plan for managing the risk associated with non-compliance
  • Proposed metrics for evaluating the success of risk management (if risk is significant)
  • Proposed review date to evaluate progress toward compliance
  • Endorsement of the request by the appropriate Information Trustee (VP or Dean, CIO).

 

If the non-compliance is due to a superior solution, an exception will normally be granted until the published standard or procedure can be revised to include the new solution. An exception request should still be submitted.

 

Submit the Exception Request Form to the Information Security Office, infosec@rit.edu, ROS 10-A200.

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