Information Resources and Technology Miscellaneous Policy
||Virus Protection Policy
The purpose of this policy is to describe the responsibilities of individuals, departments and Information Resources and Technology (IRT) in protecting Bradley University computer systems against virus infections.
A virus is a program or piece of code designed to replicate itself which may be attached to an application. A virus is most often a malicious software program designed to destroy or damage information on computers. Some viruses cause no damage apart from reproducing, but a significant number are specifically designed to cause data loss or to compromise the confidentiality of files by sending copies of them to others.
A worm is a special type of virus which replicates itself over a computer network, and does not attach itself to files, so requires no human intervention to spread. Worms spread quickly and reside in memory, slowing down or disabling your computer.
Potential sources of viruses include shared media such as floppy disks or CD-ROMs, electronic mail (including, but not limited to, files attached to messages), and software or documents copied over networks such as the campus network, the Internet, and over P2P applications and Web pop-ups.
A virus infection is almost always costly to the institution whether through the loss of data (possibly permanent), staff time to recover a system, or the delay of important work. Viruses spread from the University can lead to damage to the University's reputation and can possibly lead to litigation against the University.
Computer and network virus activity is costly to the institution in a number of ways. Data loss, system corruption, and the cost of human and financial resources required to restore system and network integrity are detrimental to the institution. There is no one product or action which will secure and protect the campus systems and network. Reasonable efforts must be made by individuals, departments, and technology support units to provide system and network protection from destructive virus programs and other security encroachments.
Information Resources and Technology Responsibilities
Bradley maintains licensing for Norton AntiVirus (NAV) software as its supported client anti-virus application. Norton AntiVirus is automatically installed on personal computers and servers acquired through campus computer sales for use on campus.
The University provides NAV to all students running Windows or Macintosh computers. The software is available for download to all Bradley students.
Virus protection software is also run on the University mail servers and at the point at which mail enters campus.
Information Resources and Technology maintains up-to-date virus definitions for download to individual computers. When a new virus is identified, IRT may send out a notice instructing end users to retrieve a new virus definition immediately.
An IRT-maintained Web site, http://antivirus.bradley.edu, provides information regarding virus threats and hoaxes as well as procedures for protecting systems against infection and links to useful technical resources.
On an ongoing basis, IRT staff will take appropriate action to contain virus infections as they occur and to assist in their removal. In order to prevent the spread of a virus, or to contain damage being caused by a virus, it may be necessary for IRT to remove a computer from the network or disable a segment of the network.
Information Resources and Technology technical staff maintain current patch levels and virus protection on all servers under their control. They scan systems for vulnerabilities on a regular basis and provide product and configuration recommendations to departments regarding system security and virus protection. On an ongoing basis, IRT staff will investigate and evaluate security solutions that may benefit the campus network and systems.
Advice and Assistance
Additionally, Information Resources and Technology will provide virus protection assistance in the following ways:
- The IRT HelpDesk and staff will assist individuals with recovery from viruses. This includes advice on containment to stop the spread, help with removing viruses, and advice on how to prevent a recurrence.
- Timely information regarding virus threats will be sent to campus in a variety of ways, including notices via electronic mail and postings on Blackboard, Webmail, and the HelpDesk Web page.
- Information Resources and Technology will continue to work with Student Senate and the Residential Life staff to increase awareness of the importance of adequate virus protection.
All servers and other systems administered by end-user departments are to be maintained with current patch levels and available anti-virus software. Departmental technical staff will be responsible to notify IRT of violations or virus incidents on the systems they administer. Information Resources and Technologies bears the right and responsibility to advise departments on appropriate technology protection measures.
Bradley University requires all users of personal computers on the campus network (wired and wireless) to maintain up-to-date virus protection software and operating system security patches on their desktop and portable computers in order to protect and limit the risks to the person and the University associated with virus attacks.
Students are required to protect their personal computers with anti-virus software of their choosing. Norton AntiVirus is provided to students at no cost and is available to students only via a download from the http://antivirus.bradley.edu Web site. The software must be removed when a student graduates or leaves the University for some other reason.
University-owned systems should be set to check for and download new definitions on a daily basis. Daily updates are recommended for individually-owned systems as well. Daily updates to virus definitions provide the greatest opportunity for consistent protection from virus activity.
Additionally, the following steps can be taken to help protect systems from virus infection:
- Make back-up copies of important documents or files on a regular basis onto removable media such as CDs.
- Log off of lab computers.
- Always scan files retrieved from a CD or other external source.
- Always scan all files you download from the Internet.
- Always install critical Window updates
- Change passwords frequently and choose complex passwords
Computer users not complying with this computer security policy leave themselves and others at risk of virus infections which could result in:
- Damaged or lost files
- Inoperable computer resulting in loss of productivity
- Risk of spread of infection to others
- Confidential data being revealed to unauthorized persons
An individual's non-compliant computer can have significant, adverse affects on other individuals, groups, or the University itself. It is critical for the protection of all individuals using the campus network that each computer be adequately protected against virus activity. Non-compliance with this policy by use of a computer on the campus network which is not adequately protected against virus infection may result in a variety of negative outcomes outlined below.
University-owned computers (purchased through campus computer sales and supported by IRT)
Virus activity is generally initially suspected when a great deal of traffic is identified by network administration software coming from a particular IP address (in use by a particular individual) on the network. When this occurs, the following steps are taken:
- Network access by that computer will be restricted.
- A trouble ticket will be opened by the HelpDesk, the University employee responsible for the infected computer will be contacted. (If the responsible party cannot be identified, the restriction will remain in place until someone contacts the HelpDesk about the computer.)
- A time will be arranged for the infected computer to be scanned and cleaned. If files appear to be damaged or missing, file recovery will be attempted.
- The IRT staff person will ensure that NAV is installed and updating daily on the computer before the ticket is closed
As with university-owned computers, virus activity on student computers is generally identified when a great deal of traffic is coming from a particular IP address (in use by a particular individual) on the network. The following steps are taken when this occurs:
Network administrators will restrict the user's access to the network and notify the HelpDesk of the restriction.
The HelpDesk will call the student to whom the computer is registered to inform them of the restriction.
- The student must bring their laptop or CPU to the HelpDesk for assistance in scanning and cleaning the viruses from the system.
- The student must demonstrate that anti-virus software is installed and set to update daily before network access is restored.
- A fee of $25 will be charged for an initial violation. A fee of $50 will be charged if there is a subsequent violation by the same student. If non-compliance with the policy continues, the student may be referred to the residential life and student judicial services office.
Some systems (on the campus network) do not fall under the above categories of University or student owned. As stated earlier, all systems connected to the Bradley University network, whether wired or wireless, must have current virus protection software installed and running.
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maintained by D. Randall/S. Renken