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OIT adds new security layer for spring semester

Megan Hemler | Wednesday, January 13, 2010

 Students returning to campus for the spring semester must login for the second time this year to use the Notre Dame network, said David Seidl, information security professional at the Office of Information Technologies (OIT). 

“If you’re used to coming to campus in August, the only thing that’s different is the fact that it’s happening more than once a year,” Seidl said. “This change applies only to the wired network. The three other wireless networks will not see any additional changes.”

The added security helps OIT know who the person on the other end of the computer is. Using that knowledge, OIT will be able to place students in the network appropriately and give them the correct amount of access, Seidl said. 
When OIT knows more information about who is using Notre Dame’s network, they can better identify and resolve any kind of threat, he said.
Seidl said BlackBerrys, iPhones and other mobile devices will not be affected by the new security step. 
As more of the Notre Dame community goes wireless, Seidl advocated use of the ND-secure wireless network — instead of the old Nomad network — to keep personal information safe.
“If you want your traffic encrypted and the network to treat you like a trusted campus citizen, you need to use ND-secure. ND-guest is comparable to a hotel network, which has no encryption, and Nomad is still around for the older devices that can’t make the switch to ND-Secure,” Seidl said.
Lenette Votava, organization communication analyst with OIT, said that “the overall goal of information security is to be aware and on top of any kind of threat.
“One of the most important things for all Notre Dame users to remember is to be sensible and watch what you post online,” she said.
Seidl said OIT also started working on file security.
“Universities tend to keep files forever, so we have been urging faculty and staff to clean out their Netfile accounts,” he said.
He said another concern for students is the social media Web sites.
“Even legitimate Web sites can have a virus that is user-initiated, meaning a user clicks on an advertisement and the virus is passed to the user’s computer.”
Votava said online security is “always an ongoing effort … it simply never ends.”