Contributed by Karen Sunderland on 05/06/2014
Like any organization that deals with sensitive information, Ithaca College must be in compliance with a variety of security standards. To ensure this compliance, our security practices and policies are regularly reviewed by external auditors, and often result in recommended or mandated changes to our security practices. One such recommendation that the college as a whole has been asked to comply with is the enforcement of screen saver passwords on virtually all college-owned computers.
Going forward, the majority of college computers (with some exceptions noted below*) will automatically activate the screen saver after 15 minutes of inactivity, requiring the login (Netpass) password to be entered to resume use of the system. The new screen saver policy will be implemented on Windows machines beginning Tuesday, May 13th, with Macs to follow in the coming weeks.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that users’ systems are not subject to unauthorized access when left unattended for long periods of time while logged into any one of our many systems that store sensitive information. While the college recognizes that all security measures pose some level of inconvenience, a screen saver password is far less inconvenient than the alternative of requiring each of our applications (Homer, Parnassus, Email, Sakai, etc.) to have their own 15-minute inactivity timeout.
*Exceptions to the screen saver password policy: