Medium Level Effort

Here are some of the ways one could modify a Nebula workstation or its usage to lower risk; these require a medium level of effort: 

  1. Use Windows 7 or Windows 8; they provide better default security than Windows XP or Vista, and will be supported with security updates considerably longer (Microsoft support for XP ends in April 2014).
  2. If your system has a virus infection, have your system rebuilt instead of trying to “clean” it.  It is very difficult to completely remove a virus from a system short of a rebuild.
  3. Enable Bitlocker on all your computers (desktops and laptops). Bitlocker encrypts the contents of the hard drive when the computer is off.
  4. Disable “File and Printer Sharing” to close open ports on your computer; you can still save and print.
  5. Enable auto-updating in applications wherever available (Acrobat, Reader, Java).
  6. Move your workstation to the private “p172″ network, which is not directly accessible from off-campus.
  7. Do not use USB keys or thumb drives if you can avoid it.  If you can’t, make sure they are encrypted and that your antivirus software will always scan them.
  8. Disable local accounts.

Last modified: October 4, 2013