Security

User Access Levels

It would not be sensible to give users on a network access to every file on the network. There are different levels of access that users could have for different files or areas on the network.

  • No Access – students have not access to files belong to other users or the teachers shared area
  • Read Only – student can access the resources area and open files, but they cannot edit or save files there.
  • Read and Write – students can open files in their own user area, edit them and save them.

Passwords

In order to keep password secure, the following rules should apply:

  • Use a mix of numeric and non numeric characters
  • Use a mix of uppercase and lower case characters
  • Use non-alphanumeric characters
  • Use at least 8 characters
  • Do not write down passwords
  • Do not use obvious words like your name
  • Do not reuse passwords
  • Do not share your password with others
  • Do not use a sequence of characters (123 or ABC)

Encryption

Encryption is used to protect data that may be intercepted. Using an algorithm, data can be converted into cyphertext. This can only be decoded if the user knows the decryption key. Go to BBC Bitesize to learn more about encryption .

Back-up & Disaster Recovery

We need to ensure that data is safe on a network. Organisations need to be prepared for a range of risks – natural disasters (eg. earthquake, flood or fire), hardware failure, software failure, malicious damage or simple accidents.

A contingency plan should be in place that staff can carry out in the event of an incident. After the incident new hardware may need to be purchased and data may need to be restored from backups.

Backups should be made regularly to ensure that data is secure and organisations should have a policy that states when and where backups are stored. It would be sensible to have a backup off site (somewhere else) so the backup is not damaged in the incident – cloud computing is a good option for this.

Archiving

Old data which may need to be kept but that is not longer used regularly (eg. for legal or accounting purposes) should be archived. Archiving is essentially a backup of old files; if these old files were on the current network, they may take up too much space. Magnetic tape is often used for this as it is very cheap for a large storage capacity and the slow read/ write speed does not matter if the files are not accessed regularly.

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