Computer and Network Security
by Jeff Eisenberg and Connie Lawthers; last updated Jan 3, 2011
Building a secure network of library computers is more important and more complicated than ever before. Simultaneously, the network administrator must protect the library's networks and systems, ensure public access computers are always available, and enable legal access to the library's subscription-based resources. It takes a large-scale, multi-faceted effort to manage library computer and network security, and it will involve everyone from administrators, to computer technicians, to librarians, to staff.
It requires a broad understanding of the library security principles which are embodied in library policies and procedures, and it involves creating a multi-tiered security system that addresses general security issues as well as user security, workstation security, server security and network security. In addition, this system must be constantly monitored and updated as new threats arise.
These pages on library computer and network security are designed to assist you and your library in this process. Because of the prevalence of Windows-based computers in libraries, these pages focus on security for computers and networks using the Windows family operating desktop and server operating systems. The underlying principles, however, can be applied to all operating systems. For good starting points for the Macintosh and Linux operating systems, see Linux and Linux Security Resources on the Internet and Macintosh Security. For Novell networks, see Novell Security Information.
Most libraries already have some components of a security system in place, but there's a good chance that after working through these pages you'll find you need to add more layers to it. The system you create will be unique to your library; use these pages as a blueprint for security, adding and subtracting according to your specific needs. You'll never be able to completely protect your computers—you can only slow the bad guys down. But slowing them down is worth it!
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