LCSC to start screensavers for security purposes
Note: This article contains information that will affect everyone who uses a desktop PC on campus.
A LCSC employee logs into Datatel Colleague, and after an hour of work left for lunch. While the employee was eating at the SUB, someone walked past the employee’s desk and saw the running programs on the computer screen. He sat down at the employee’s desk and played around with a program until he got a list of student names. After recording some private information, the person returned the screen to the way he found it and continued his walk around campus. He happened upon an empty faculty office where a computer screen showed running programs. He sat down at the desk and sent a few e-mail messages – as if they were written by the instructor.
Far fetched? Only a little. Has it happened? How would we know? Can it be prevented? Yes – quite easily – with locking screen savers that requires an employee’s password to unlock the screen.
The state requires an annual financial audit by an outside firm, which includes an annual review of the Information Technology department. At LCSC’s last audit, the IT department was dinged for not requiring locking screen savers. Although a screen saver won’t stop the most egregious attempts at stealing data or compromising systems, it will prevent “incidents of opportunity” where someone with access and chutzpa takes advantage of unprotected computers.
In response to the audit, LCSC will change the behavior of desktop PCs so that they start a screensaver after 15 minutes of inactivity. The employee will have to enter his/her password in order to get back to work. All programs will remain running. Fifteen minutes is a compromise: we encourage anyone who walks away from a running computer to lock the screen immediately.
How? On PCs press [Ctrl] [Alt] [Del] at the same time and then press [Enter]; or you can press the Windows key and l (lowercase L).
There’s nothing that you need to do to enable the screensaver change, as the update can be made over the campus local area network. Screensavers will be enabled at the end of work, Thursday, March 8th. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Help Desk at x2231.