Computer Security

Campus units acquiring computer hardware are responsible for providing proper security. When properly secured hardware is damaged or stolen, the criteria and procedure for seeking financial assistance for reimbursement are described in this policy.

A University Police Crime Prevention Specialist should be consulted at 333-1216 if, after reading this policy, there is any uncertainty about the type and level of security that would be deemed proper or adequate. In all cases, a Specialist, the Campus Risk Manager, 333-4660, or, the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, 333-4493 are available to answer any questions about this policy.

Computers and office/lab equipment of the size that could be easily removed should be acquired with the understanding that the cost of a proper security device is part of the acquisition. The campus does not have insurance to cover losses sustained through vandalism, theft, or burglary; such losses can have a severe negative financial and operational impact. Therefore, it is essential that campus departments assume responsibility for securing computers and other office/lab equipment or areas where such items are located.

The Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs may assist campus departments to restore/replace computer and other office/lab equipment if:

  • Campus funds are available, AND
  • The department sustaining the loss had approved security measures in place when the loss occurred.

Approved security measures include:

  • The use of an anchor pad or similar device when the value of the equipment exceeds $4,000 and the location lacks an approved level of security when not in use.
  • The use of a cable locking device when the value of the equipment is less than $4,000 and the location lacks an approved level of security when not in use.

The use of approved alternative security devices/measures for perimeter protection of office/lab with multiple items. These devices/measures may include door/window locks, alarm systems, key controls, etc.

Approved supervision of unsecured items when an otherwise secure office/lab is open for operational purposes.

For portable equipment. Such equipment should be kept under direct personal control, in a secure room, or out of sight in a locked vehicle at all times.

A Specialist need not be consulted when an anchor pad or cable locking device is properly utilized per #1 and #2 above. For the determination of "an approved level of security" as described in #1 and #2 and conditions of #3 and #4, a Specialist within the University Police Department must be consulted. Departments are strongly encouraged to be proactive and have a Specialist from the University Police analyze the area where computers and other office/lab equipment are kept.

Requests for financial assistance to cover loss(es) should be directed to the Office of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Swanlund Administration Building, MC-304. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or his/her designee) will then request a loss site analysis by a Specialist to determine if security measures as outlined in this policy were in place at the time of the incident.

The Specialist will document the existence or lack of approved security devices/measures on site and recommend assistance accordingly. (It is highly unlikely assistance will be provided to any department that had not properly utilized an anchor pad or cable locking device, or consulted a Specialist in advance for approval of alternative security measures.)

Campus policy does not prohibit the acquisition, with nonstate funds, of insurance for loss(es) of computers and other office equipment. However, such coverage may not be cost-effective given the type of loss(es) likely to be suffered from theft/burglary. Advice on this matter is best obtained from the University Risk Management Office at 333-3113.