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Standards changed for TWU-owned devices

To meet security and compliance standards, IT Solutions (ITS) has made changes to standards that impact employee use of Texas Woman’s-owned devices. These changes provide safeguards for our network; its security is the responsibility of everyone who connects to it, not just ITS.  

Operating System (OS) Updates

OS updates had been sporadic in the past and are now the norm. For many devices that have been disconnected from the TWU network for a long time or that connect (via VPN or on campus) infrequently, these updates can be significant and take time to complete. If it seems that your computer is slowing down while you are working and you can’t determine why, it may be that updates are running. (More about OS updates for PC and  Mac.)

What can/should you do?
  • Allow the updates to run. Try not to restart unless prompted by the computer.
  • Be patient while updates are running. They may take significant time. Use the time to catch up on non-computer work or enjoy a walk.
  • Connect to the network at least once a month, either through VPN or bringing the device to campus and connecting via Ethernet.
  • Know that after the thousands of TWU devices are updated to a newer version, updates will become less aggressively frequent, though they will be more common than they had in years past. 

Specifically, the update in Windows 10 to 20H2 is a large update that will take a while to run. For this update, you should see an installation window:

What can/should you do? 
  • You may move the installation progress pop-up around on the screen (or to a second screen/monitor) to complete your work. Simply click the top of the window and drag it where you prefer it to be. 
  • Please allow the update to run and continue working. If interrupted, the update will try again and again until successful. 
  • Apparently, this update likes to stick around 44%. Don’t panic. Just let it run and it will finish up on its own time. 
  • If you’re teaching in a classroom and this window appears, call the Service Desk at 940-898-3971 for support. 

Administrative Rights

With increased information security posture in mind, administrative rights to TWU-owned devices has been modified. Administrative rights must be contained and in line with the principle of least privilege (URP 04.710 Information Security Access Control, see I.D. Least Privilege). The state of cyber-attacks and the plethora of malicious actors requires that TWU ITS take a more conservative approach when it comes to administrative rights. This also assists with ensuring that all software undergo a Risk Assessment (even when there is no contract or the software is free) in compliance with  URP 04.760 Information Security Risk Assessment for Risk Assessments.

In summary: if you use a TWU-owned device, the administrator rights to install programs, run updates, or take similar actions belong to IT Solutions (not the device user).

What can/should you do?

ITS appreciates that information security is a balance between safety and convenience. While these changes may negatively impact convenience, they significantly increase security.