Supported PC project FAQs

Please note that the Supported PC Project formally completed at Easter 2017. The FAQ's have been retained for reference.

Questions

 

Answers

Why is the University imposing rules on how I manage my computer?

This policy has been introduced to reduce the risk of data loss and remove the security burden from the individual user. If a computer has been bought with University funds (including University awarded grant funding), then it is the University’s asset and the University has legal and commercial obligations to ensure its computers (and by extension its data) is suitably protected and backed up.

Although many staff take steps to protect devices that they currently self-manage, the volume of issues that have arisen where these have not been sufficiently robust is unacceptable, prompting the University Leadership Team and RIAG to initiate a new policy.

Why is the University interested in how I manage my data?

Research data is a University asset and not an individual’s asset. The University therefore has legal and commercial obligations to ensure its research data is suitably protected.

Although some staff take steps to protect and back up their research data, the volume of issues that have arisen where staff have not been sufficiently robust is unacceptable, prompting the University Leadership Team and RIAG to initiate a new policy.

I have up-to-date anti-virus software on my device which isn’t Sophos – why do I need to change?

Sophos is the University’s approved standard for anti-malware protection. The installation of Sophos will be configured to report its status back to a central location. This will enable our University to obtain the assurances it needs over this kind of protection. Other products will not provide this, as they will not be centrally managed.

How do I get additional software added to OSX self-service?

To get additional software added into the self-service list contact the IT Service Desk. Access to the Apple store will be unaffected.

Will my computer be rebooted without my consent when security updates are applied?

No. Security updates will be installed in the background, but reboots will be left to staff to organise at their convenience, though this should be done as soon as is practical.

How do I use Network Drives and Microsoft OneDrive to back up my data correctly?

If you only access your data on campus, then you can store data in your Research R: Drive, Personal Z: Drive or Shared Departmental X: Drive.

If you need to access data/files when you are both on and off campus, then you should store them within your OneDrive. This will ensure a synchronised copy of your data is stored within our dedicated Office365 service from Microsoft. There are circumstances in which storing your data within OneDrive could be inappropriate – e.g. sensitive research data obtained under a data sharing agreement with NHS Digital (the former HSCIC). Further advice on the use of OneDrive will be provided to individual staff members at the time of installation.

I run Virtual Machine software – how will this be affected?

A virtual machine will need to be assured in the same way as a physical computer would be. This may mean, for example, manually assuring a Windows virtual machine running on a Mac. Please discuss your use of Virtual Machine software with the IT professional who contacts you to make an appointment.

Can I still have administration rights to my computer?

If you already have Administration rights on your computer, then these will not be affected by the installation work. You will however, need to formally request Admin rights at the earliest opportunity, as in doing so ensures that you understand and sign up to the associated code of practice.

I use my personally-owned computer on campus for my work, will this be affected?

Personally owned devices are not within the scope of this project.

It is not expected that staff should need to provide their own computer in order to do their job. It is recommended that anyone who is using a personal device to do their job should discuss this with their manager, as under normal circumstances the University would expect to provide you with a suitable computer for you to be able to do your job.

Is this a one-off action I need to do, or will this require ongoing maintenance?

Manual assurance audits will take place on a regular basis – at least annually. The frequency of audits will be agreed on a case by case basis, depending on the nature of the computer and the level of risk associated with its use.

Windows light touch, Mac and Linux assurance, are all one-off activities that will not generate repeat maintenance visits.

Will I still be able to download apps from the App store?

Yes – nothing arising from this project will remove access to any App store, as long as you ensure you complete the Request admin rights form approving provision/retention of local admin rights.

I have heard there are long delays with newly purchased Macs being put onto the OSX assurance service – why is this?

The University’s procurement route for Apple Macs (essential to follow for legal compliance) is via a national framework agreement. Apple took a decision last year when this agreement was renewed to leave their partners to bid and not bid themselves. This has subsequently caused some delays in procurement of new devices. This procurement issue is entirely separate to the new OSX assurance service and has been the source of the majority of delays with providing Apple devices.

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