Computer Security Policy

Projects related to getting the campus into compliance with this policy are currently under development or in progress.

Originally Issued:

November 2012

Download Policy Document (PDF)

Policy:

A user name and password are required to access all university-issued computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such.. All university-issued computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. must have current antivirus software installed with up-to-date virus definitions. ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. operating systemsDevices and applications accessed via the network. must be kept updated to current OIT-approved levels. ComputersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. or computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. screens must be set to require a password after a period of inactivityTo be determined by individual units but length of time not to exceed 15 minutes..

Please visit the Security Patches for Microsoft, Linux, and Apple page for information on updating your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such.'s operating system. 


Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Maintain a safe and secure campus computing environment.
  • Meet best practice computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. security standards.
  • Comply with federal and state regulations.

Entities Affected By Policy:

Entities affected by this policy include anyone who uses a university-issued computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such..


Who Should Read This Policy:

Anyone who uses a university-issued computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. should read this policy.


Exceptions:

To request an exception, please complete the OIT Policy Exception Form.

Exception requests will be processed within 10 business days of receipt of the request.  If an exception is created, the exception will be audited on an annual basis. The owner of the system or a listed designee must respond to the annual audit and verify that the exception is still required.

Changes to the exception may only be requested by the system ownerA full-time UNLV employee who is responsible for the system, knows the function(s) of the system, authorizes access, knows who the data owners are, and understands what data the system stores, processes, or transmits. or a documented designee appointed by the owner.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Comput​er ​Security Policy?

The security policy is a set of requirements to help UNLV maintain a safe computing environment on campus.   The policy requires that all computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. at UNLV be protected by a password to gain access to the computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such.; all computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. have an antivirus application actively running and maintained with current definitions from the software publisher; all operating systemsDevices and applications accessed via the network. must have all security patches released applied; all computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. must engage a lock screen after a period of time, which requires a password to be used to gain access to the computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such..

Why is the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy being implemented?

The policy is being implemented as a result of guidance provided through the NSHE Security Audit conducted in the Spring of 2011. The security audit directs UNLV to adhere to the NSHE Procedures and Guidelines manual (PGM).  The policy also supports industry best practices. 

What is a UNLV computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such.?

Any university-issued desktop, laptop or tablet computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. which is listed as property of UNLV/NSHE and/or tagged with a UNLV property number. 

How will the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy affect my daily work at UNLV? 

OIT will start helping to manage security updates on campus computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. we support, as well as ensuring anti-virus is running and up to date. Watch for more information regarding UNLV Smart Computing.  You will need to ensure your passwords are secure, changing them as needed.   You also need to set up your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. to time out and lock the screen if you are not using it.  They can be configured to lock after 15 minutes of inactivity to meet this requirement, and you can lock your screen manually any time you walk away from your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such..  After locking, you will need to log back in to continue use.   

What if I cannot adhere to the policy?

You can ask for policy exceptions by completing the Policy Exception Form.  If your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. is granted an exception from the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy, you will have the responsibility of maintaining the security of the computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such., and the dataThe observations and information collected or accessed during the performance of services, including protected information and images with a reasonable expectation of privacy. on it, to the same levels as the policy requires.  Exceptions may be necessary in the case of special applications or other business or research needs. 

Some devices are exempt from the policy by default because they are unable to technically meet these requirements.  If you are using such a device, you are still responsible for maintaining security of the device and the dataThe observations and information collected or accessed during the performance of services, including protected information and images with a reasonable expectation of privacy. on it.  Examples of such devices currently include, but are not limited to, iPads and Blackberries. 

I am running Linux/UNIX on my computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such., how does the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy affect me?

If your machine is running Linux/UNIX you must maintain your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. to the same level as expected for OIT to maintain all other computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. on the campus. 

My computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. contains an antivirus application that is not maintained by OIT, how does the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy affect me?

If you’re using another application besides Symantec you will need to keep the definitions up-to-date.

My lab computersAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. are not connected to the networkAn underlying infrastructure of cabling, equipment, and management software that electronically transmits and directs the flow of information among devices., how does the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security Policy affect me?

Even though your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. is not connected to the networkAn underlying infrastructure of cabling, equipment, and management software that electronically transmits and directs the flow of information among devices., you were still expected to maintain your computerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. to the same level as the ComputerAny university-issued desktop or laptop, listed as property of UNLV/NSHE on the university inventory list, regardless of whether the desktop or laptop is properly labeled or tagged as such. Security policy requires.

How can I create a strong password? 

Your password must be eight or more characters in length and include at least three of the four types of characters: upper case letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers. Some examples of strong, secure passwords are below (please create your own and do not use these): 

  • Dtz2w4T$
  • &DkkJ#3jm2ht
  • AD3^dned7