Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

ITS: Security & Online Safety

Everyone plays a role in keeping our computing environment safe and secure. More than ever, all students and employees need to be diligent to ensure that your personal and office computer equipment is safe and secure from the threats and risks that exist on today's networks and world wide web.

How CCAC protects College Information and Technology Assets

Anti-virus Protection: ITS Network Services team supports a comprehensive virus protection program for CCAC's technical environment. The college has deployed Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection for all PCs in classrooms and offices. In addition, incoming and outgoing email is routinely scanned for viruses and worms.

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An icon in the corner of your system tray shows the software at work on your PC. The maintenance of the virus scanning is scheduled automatically within all College PC's. This is done on Thursday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. Virus definitions are updated routinely and regularly by the Network Services group. Your desktop PC is updated automatically with these definitions through the Windows 7 software. If your department possesses a college-owned laptop, it should be plugged into the college network periodically to have its virus definitions updated.


Forefront
  Forefront Alert: If you get an alert window display as shown below, this means Forefront is doing its job at recognizing threats on your computer. Simply click the “Clean computer” button should you get this alert. Our ITS technicians will also receive notifications from Forefront and will visit your desktop if the problem warrants additional action.  

All other messages or windows coming from sources other than Forefront should be treated as suspicious and you should call the ServiceDesk to report a potential threat.  

Updates and Patches: Microsoft releases patches for their products the second Tuesday of every month (Patch Tuesday). As soon as these patches are released, our networking team will “push” them to a number of test systems throughout the college. These test systems are monitored for 2 weeks. If the ITS department does not receive any reported issues resulting from the patches, they push the patches to ALL remaining college computers. In the event that Microsoft releases emergency patches, ITS may need to push those patches without warning to all systems ASAP for the safety and security of the college’s computers.

When you get a popup alerting you that a restart is necessary, please proceed with the restart at your earliest convenience. You should never cancel an update in progress. Feel free to call the ServiceDesk if you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of activity on your PC.

Power Down: Please power off your computer when you leave for the day. This will help to save energy costs and give your PC a fresh start each morning, minimizing performance problems that occur when computers operate for days or weeks at a time. In the future, ITS plans to institute automated power-downs, so start now to get in the habit of closing down each evening. See more information at energysavers.gov.

Exception for Thursdays: employees whose work schedule ends before the scan starts or finishes should close applications and leave their PC powered on in order to catch the virus scanning process.

Passwords: Strong password management by users supports a safe and secure network. See our Passwords webpage for password procedures and guidelines.

Email Scams and Phishing: To stay secure, you should permanently delete any suspicious emails and never open attachments, download files, or enter personal information in websites if you are not certain of their legitimacy. 

REMEMBER:The ITS ServiceDesk (in addition to your bank and other service providers) will NEVER ask you to provide your password or personal information via email or any other fashion.

When specific phishing emails are detected, the ITS Networking Staff will block this content from subsequent delivery to CCAC email recipients.

Intrusions or Recurrent Infections: Please be aware that the College reserves the right to disable an employee’s or student’s network account if activity on the account presents a threat to college operations or network security. Examples may include, but are not limited to, (a) an email account is compromised and initiates a spamming attack or (b) a user experiences recurring virus infections on college PCs. The ITS department will make every effort to discover the source of the problem, resolve all affected equipment or applications and confirm the safe restoration of  your account as quickly as possible. We will continue to update our procedures based on emerging threats in a rapidly changing technology environment.

Do you know what to do if you have a Virus on your work computer?

STOP and call the CCAC ServiceDesk 412.237.8700

Please unplug the network cable (this is either a blue/gray cable that plugs into the back of the computer just like a phone cord does) to disconnect the PC from the network. Leave the computer logged in with all windows open and DO NOT use the PC.

Protect Yourself from these Threats!

The best defense against malicious threats is educating yourself to recognize and deal with suspicious situations in the classroom, office, home and on mobile devices. Participate in this Online Course, developed by CCAC ITS:

 

                                               IT i-SOS Logo

i-SOS Information Security and Online Safety

This course has been designed to arm you with knowledge and skills for protecting our information and technology assets, as well as protecting your own personal technology resources and privacy. The online course includes videos produced by our ITS staff and relate practical knowledge and tips. There are also links to relevant resources and assessments to track your learning.

To access the i-SOS course, go to moodle.ccac.edu. Call or email the ServiceDesk to obtain the enrollment key for this course.

You should continue to call the CCAC ServiceDesk at 412.237.8700, if you identify suspicious activity or your software or browser is not functioning properly.