General discussion


How tight should security be ? Network, workstations ?

By pj808 ·
I have worked in the IT field for a very long time.... and was recently asked to teach again in a local school's adult education forum.
Never in my life have I been so frustrated working in a networked class room computer lab.
I could not run programs from a cd based disk, I could not install any program, could not make student folders.. not even on the instructors pc. Many accepted sub programs were not installed or availiable (Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Quicktime, etc.)
When is security too much ? When should you have to deal with network admin approval for accepted software ?
All the pc's allowed an internet connection (Thank God).
I was even asked to teach an Ebay Basics and Advanced class. Ebay Turbo Lister was not accepted to be installed for the class.
When is security too much ?

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In a School setting with kids using the comps?

by CG IT In reply to How tight should security ...

I'd make sure USB ports were disabled, there are no floppy drives, no CDs, and that every user was a quest, there is passwords for BIOS and System setup, that there are locks on the cases.....

you have no idea the damage people [kids and adults] do. Dunno what it is, maybe they take their frustrations and anger out on computers, maybe bad wiring in the head, who knows, but if they can screw it up, they will.

When is security not enough should be the question? It's not enough when it costs $$ and 2 weeks of time to get back up and running because someone got in and screwed up the network through a workstation.

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by SlappyMcnasty In reply to How tight should security ...
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Enough to protect the network, but loose enough to allow

by Deadly Ernest In reply to How tight should security ...

people to do their work.

I was both a student and a part-time teacher in one of our tech colleges, here in Australia. The system used NT servers and workstations (late 1990s). the systems were set up so that you could do anything you liked - except delete things from C drive. Everytime the system was rebooted, it checked the registry etc against the master on the server and reset the system to the default installation. The sys admins recognised that teachers and students needed to be able to work on and change the systems - so they set it up to allow that, and still protect the network.

Thus, teachers could install software, have students install software, and a reboot put it all back the way it was.

Many labs had machines with removable drive caddies, and the students brought their own drive - these were for specific classes on building systems, security, networking, and the like.

Each student had their own directory on the server, for storing files etc. Each subject had its place on the server, where the teachers could upload class notes and other downloads for the students.

It sounds like your sys admin is lazy bugger and can't be bothered doing the extra work to allow this type of operation.

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Best answer so far, but something to add

by jdclyde In reply to Enough to protect the net ...

In every campus situation I have been in, it is the job of the instructor to notify the admin of any special needs they will have, and then to do the follow up walk-through on a system to make sure it has what will be needed.

It is unreasonable to just expect everything to just be there when you walk in if you have not taken these steps.

And the best classes I have taken for servers or networking did have the removable drives. You got a drive that had an image on it already, but were free to do as you wished to it in a real world environment. If you pooched it, they would drop a new image for you. At the end of class, all drives are wiped and loaded for the next class.

In generic class rooms I have seen the setups Ernest was discussing where they reset at reboot. This allows limited freedom.

But anyone that thinks a system in this situation should be completely open clearly has never had to work in this type of situation before.

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Agreed ...

by marchred In reply to Best answer so far, but s ...

Couldn't agree more - it's up to the instructors to be prepared in adviance and notify the sysadmin of their requirements. Security of its nature is "pessimistic" - you can always relax the controls when experience determines they are too tight, but it's a nightmare to increase controls because there have been too many issues.

Like other correspondents I have been both student and instructor. As an instructor the first thing I do (before class) is consult with the sysadmin to make sure that whatever activities we are going to undertake will work ... the scout's motto "Be Prepared!"

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Unfortunately some points are missed

by joseph.r.piazza In reply to Agreed ...

The writer was taeching an aduilt education class. Therefore he has no idea of school's IT policies or who the Sys Adminstrator is. Yes he should be able to just go in and teach.

The reboot configuration as identified by the man in Australia is perfect.
Allow the instructor to have System Adminstrator rights on all PCs and he can install anything he wants. Make it policy that he must uninstall everything at end of the Day.

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As someone that has taught several years of adult ed

by jdclyde In reply to Unfortunately some points ...

I can safely tell you that you are sadly missinformed.

ANY instructor is responsible to make sure they have what they will need for their classes. This means outlines, books, and any other resources.

Computer access is just another resource, and they DO specifically tell you to walk through your class the WEEK before teaching to make sure everything is working. Many can not be BOTHERED to take this step, and you get what we have here. Someone crying because THEY did not prepare for their job.

Even most campuses that DO reset at roboot, still limit greatly what you can and can't do with the system.

The poster is out of line. Maybe it was the fault of whoever he reports to, for not telling him that he is responsible to make sure he has what he needs. Wonder if they forgot to tell him to bring his lunch too?

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Well least JdClyde is up to date MCT JD?

by CG IT In reply to As someone that has taugh ...

JDClyde's replies are what I've seen most school policies are concerning computer classess and Adult Ed computer classes, not to mention in the private, pay for classes.

you get your MCT JD?

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Unprepaired Instructors

by jhogue In reply to Unfortunately some points ...

My previous post was critical of IT folks. But lets think about teachers.

For an instructor to walk into a computer lab to teach without first (well in advance) checking the lab for software / permissions and policies is just flat lazy sloppy teaching.

Students deserve a lab and instructor who are ready to teach.

If teaching lab is not "close to home" the telephone still works to check things out.

I regurlarly teach in 3 different computer labs and occassionally in 3 others. Every semester I make the rounds and check machine in each lab.

I also send IT a reminder a month before each semester of what I need in each lab. If a major software change is needed, I try to give them as much extra lead time as possible.

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Son... and I'd bet I am of an age to call you that...

by pj808 In reply to Unprepaired Instructors

I have taught for 35 years ! I have worked in the IT field over 40 ! So I know how to be prepared and I know how to setup a network, and more importantly I know how to keep one running... I do NOT have to block access to human beings ! No matter what they do ! We have to control the internet, but take away the useage of a computer, might as well go back to using terminals !

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