Information Technology (IT) Acceptable Use – 208.1

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Information Technology (IT) Acceptable Use
Policy Number: 208.1
Effective Date: February 1, 2021
Revised Dates: December 15, 2020, September 16, 2020, March 3, 2003
Most Recent Review Date: December 15, 2020

Purpose

The purpose of IT Services is to further the research, education, and administrative functions of UA Little Rock (University). To achieve this purpose, these policies intend:

  • To ensure the integrity, reliability, and performance of UA Little Rock IT systems and network.
  • To ensure that the UA Little Rock community of IT users utilize the campus IT facilities in a fair and equable manner with respect for the rights of the community at large.
  • To ensure that IT systems and network are used for their intended purposes.
  • To establish sanctions and processes for addressing violations.
  • To provide a secure and safe computing environment.

Scope and Applicability of This Policy

Anyone using or accessing UA Little Rock IT Systems is subject to the provisions of this policy.  UA Little Rock faculty, staff, emeritus faculty, and staff, registered students, alumni, and approved guests, contractors, consultants are permitted to use UA Little Rock’s computing and networking services, but are subject to the terms of this policy during that use.  Individuals who use personally-owned equipment while connected to the university network are subject to the provisions of this policy while connected to the network.  Other responsibilities of users are detailed in “Use of IT Systems” below.

Definition of Terms 

Sensitive Data: Sensitive data is a blanket term used to designate classes of data with a high level of security that the University is legally or contractually required to protect.   Sensitive data refers to any element of data that is uniquely or in aggregate protected by federal regulations (ex: HIPAA, FERPA), categorized as PII or PHI, or any other data that has been identified as business critical or business-sensitive data, such as financial records or intellectual property of UALR.

Policy

Introduction

It is the policy of the University to provide and maintain computing, networking, and telecommunications technologies to support the education, research, and work of its student, faculty, and staff. The University respects the rights of users to express their own opinions in their personal communications using the computer systems.  To preserve the security, availability, and integrity of UA Little Rock computing resources, and to protect all users’ rights to an open exchange of ideas and information, this policy sets forth the responsibilities of each member of the UA Little Rock community relative to the use of these resources. To accomplish these ends, this policy also supports the resolution of complaints raised under this policy.

Every user of UA Little Rock IT Systems must be aware that violations of this policy may result in revocation of access, suspension of accounts, disciplinary action, or prosecution, and that evidence of illegal activity will be turned over to the appropriate authorities. It is the responsibility of each member of the UA Little Rock community to read and observe this policy and all applicable laws and procedures.

Campus units that manage their own computers may add, with the approval of the appropriate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean and review by the CIO, individual guidelines which supplement, but do not change, the intent of these policies.

The computing, networking, and telecommunications technologies established or maintained by UA Little Rock are the property of UA Little Rock, as are any software licenses purchased with university funds.  The computer records created or maintained by employees and contained in these systems – including documents, email, listserv archives, text messages, and voice mail – are the property of UA Little Rock. Exceptions to UA Little Rock ownership of such records include those addressed through a grant or contractual relationships with external agencies or those in which ownership rights are transferred through other UA Little Rock policies.

The policies described herein are those that the university uses in the normal operation of IT facilities and network. This document does not waive any claim that UA Little Rock may have ownership or control of any hardware, software, or data created on, stored on, or transmitted through UA Little Rock IT systems and network.

Privileged Access and Investigation

UA Little Rock Technical Staff who are specifically hired to maintain UA Little Rock’s computing and networking resources have special privileges and special responsibilities under this policy. These staffs are required to keep confidential any personal information that they come in contact within the course of performing their duties, but are also required to report any known misuse or abuse of computing and network resources. They have been granted extraordinary powers to override or alter access controls, configurations, and passwords, which they must exercise with great care and integrity.  In addition to following the tenets of this policy, UA Little Rock Technical Staff are expected to abide by the code of ethics identified and maintained by the USENIX Association, which is the primary professional organization of systems administrators.

The UA Little Rock Systems Incident Response Team (UA Little Rock-SIRT) is primarily responsible for monitoring the health, integrity, and performance of the UA Little Rock network.  As these duties overlap this policy, UA Little Rock-SIRT is also responsible for reviewing decisions of other UA Little Rock Technical Staff, responding to complaints, providing security advice, and periodically reviewing this policy. The UA Little Rock-SIRT is appointed by the CIO, is chaired by the ITS Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and consists of one member of the ITS networking staff, one member of the ITS applications staff, one member of the ITS Systems staff, one UA Little Rock Technical Staff outside ITS, one faculty member appointed by the faculty senate, and one staff member appointed by the staff senate. The UA Little Rock Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) will establish a dispatching procedure for routing complaints to the appropriate official or staff member for action. The UA Little Rock-SIRT monitors UA Little Rock systems and network activities, coordinates responses to abuses, provides technical assistance on security matters to UA Little Rock Technical Staff and university administrators, and issues security advisories.  The UA Little Rock-SIRT is also responsible for periodically recommending improvements and clarifications to this policy to the CIO.

Use of IT Systems

Access to UA Little Rock IT Systems is a privilege granted on a presumption that every member of the University community will exercise it responsibly. Because it is impossible to anticipate all the ways in which individuals can damage, interrupt, or misuse UA Little Rock computing facilities, this policy focuses on a few simple rules.

  1. All systems, devices, users connected to UA Little Rock information technology resources have to use system security and management tools (patch management tools, antivirus, etc.) provided by IT Services to protect UA Little Rock infrastructure and the Exceptions to this policy should be made in writing to the campus CISO. Written exception is not required for the instruments, control devices, and other systems or devices using embedded operating systems. In order to have a safe and secure cyber environment, the following rules have to be followed or implemented:
    1. Every system, device, or user connected to the University resources and using University resources must be part of the Active Directory System.
    2. Every user must have a unique account to use University resources.
    3. Every device and system owned by University, used for research purposes, and used by faculty or staff to perform university business must contain an endpoint security solution provided and managed by IT Services.
  1. Use of UA Little Rock IT Systems must be consistent with the University priorities:
    1. Private, restricted, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or confidential information shall not be stored on user devices, including workstations, laptops, servers outside of the data center, removable media, and portable hard drives at any time. Private, restricted, PII, or confidential information can only be stored encrypted.
    2. Although de minimus personal and incidental use of UA Little Rock IT resources is permissible within the guidelines of the policy, users should not abuse this privilege.  Furthermore, users should not use campus IT resources, including but not limited to servers, storage systems, network devices, or cloud-based applications to save or host non-campus related data or personal information.
    3. UA Little Rock-SIRT will attach the greatest priority to uses that support the academic, research, and business functions of the University. The use of the network for entertainment purposes constitutes the lowest of its priorities and may be preempted should diversion of resources to a higher priority be deemed necessary. In order to maintain these priorities, the University reserves the right to limit the amount of resources an individual user consumes.
    4. A number of actions are specifically forbidden:
      1. Engaging in illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing or other illegal downloading;
      2. Selling access to UA Little Rock computing resources;
      3. Malicious activities, intentionally denying or interfering with any network resources, including spamming, bombing, jamming, and crashing any computer;
      4. Using or accessing any UA Little Rock IT System, or reading or modifying files, without proper authorization;
      5. Sending chain letters;
    5. Users must respect the purpose of and abide by the terms of use of online media forums, including but not limited to social networking websites, mailing lists, chat rooms, and blogs.
    6. University information resources must not be used for partisan political activities where prohibited by federal, state, or other applicable laws, and may be used for other political activities only when in compliance with federal, state, and other laws and in compliance with applicable University policies.
    7. University information resources should not be used for activities unrelated to appropriate University functions, except in a purely incidental manner.
    8. University information resources should not be used for commercial purposes, including advertisements, solicitations, promotions, or other commercial messages, except as permitted under University policy. Any such permitted commercial use should be properly related to University activities, take into account proper cost allocations for government and other overhead determinations, and provide for appropriate reimbursement to the University for taxes and other costs the University may incur by reason of the commercial use. The University’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration will determine permitted commercial uses.
  2. No Impersonations
    1. Using UA Little Rock IT System to impersonate someone else is forbidden.
    2. Users must use their own login ID and password. Access to any UA Little Rock IT System using another user’s logon credentials is fraudulent and prohibited by this policy.
    3. Mail or postings from UA Little Rock IT Systems must not be sent anonymously. Users must not conceal their identity under any circumstance when using UA Little Rock IT Systems.
    4. Users are responsible for the use of their logon credentials and are presumed to be responsible for any activity carried out under their IT system accounts.
    5. Most UA Little Rock IT Systems are designed so that log on credentials create an audit trail for important business processes. Sharing logon credentials with others circumvents this vital aspect of system integrity.  For this reason, and to forestall potential abuse, users must keep their credentials private and not allow others to use them. IT Services maintains a process for obtaining temporary access to required functionality across its systems. Requests for extended functionality must be directed to the UA Little Rock Assistance Center at 501-916-3011.
  3. Proper Authorization:
    1. Use of UA Little Rock IT systems is restricted to authorized UA Little Rock faculty, staff, alumni, and students.
    2. The administrator of UA Little Rock IT Services is the responsible authority, which grants authorization for system use and access.
    3. Users must not permit or assist any unauthorized person to access UA Little Rock IT systems.
    4. Guests of UA Little Rock may use the guest wireless network.
    5. Users must not access or attempt to access data on any UA Little Rock IT system they are not authorized to access.
    6. Users must not make or attempt to make any deliberate, unauthorized changes to data on a UA Little Rock IT system.
  4. Honor the Privacy of Others
    1. Personal e-mail and electronic files maintained on University equipment and personal Web pages are part of a comprehensive electronic information environment. This environment creates unique privacy issues that involve federal and state laws as well as University policies.
    2. Users have the right to expect that their legitimate uses of UA Little Rock IT Systems are confidential. UA Little Rock users who invade the privacy of others may have their access suspended and may also be subject to University disciplinary action through appropriate channels and legal procedures.
    3. Users must not access the contents of files of another user without authorization from that user.
    4. Users must not intercept or monitor any network communications not explicitly meant for them.
    5. Systems administrators will identify categories of data, which will be managed as confidential on a particular IT system and they will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of that data. However, limited risks do apply to confidentiality, for example to technical limitations, software bugs, and system failures. Systems administrators will take reasonable steps to inform users of the limits to confidentiality for their respective UA Little Rock IT systems. Users are expected to become familiar with those limits and risks of confidentiality and to manage their confidential data accordingly. Confidentiality of data must comply with the State of Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
    6. Unauthorized users must not create or use programs, hardware, or devices that collect information about other users without their knowledge and consent. Software on UA Little Rock IT Systems is subject to the same guidelines for protecting privacy as any other information-gathering project at the University.  Further, users may not disclose private information that they discover while accessing UA Little Rock IT Systems, even if that access is for legitimate use.
    7. Caution must be taken if the transmission of sensitive data is required. Sensitive data must be encrypted before transmission via email or other forms of digital transmission.
  5. No Threats to Infrastructure
    1. The UA Little Rock CISO is authorized to investigate alleged or apparent violations of UA Little Rock IT policy or applicable law involving IT systems and/or network using whatever means appropriate. The CISO will maintain a log and incident reporting of all such incidents
    2. Users must not extend the UA Little Rock network without explicit permission from IT Services. The unauthorized use of routers, switches, modems, wireless access points, and other devices can impact the security and stability of the network and is strictly prohibited.  All use of network addresses or other address spaces as contracted by the University must be registered with IT Services
    3. Users must not use UA Little Rock IT Systems to attack computers, accounts, or other users by launching viruses, worms, Trojan horses, or other attacks on computers at UA Little Rock or elsewhere.
    4. Users must not perform unauthorized vulnerability scans on systems.
    5. Anomalous (unusual or unexpected) computing activity that is illegal or wasteful of UA Little Rock IT Resources or that violates the terms of use of the licenses and agreements through which UA Little Rock obtains or uses UA Little Rock IT Resources is prohibited.
    6. Users who have extraordinary bandwidth needs should work with ITS to address these needs.
    7. Because of the rapid pace of technological change, UA Little Rock-SIRT has extraordinary powers to interpret this rule and may apply it to any activity not identified here that threatens 1) the health of the UA Little Rock network, systems, or applications or 2) the integrity of data including personal information about users.
  6. No Violation of Federal, State Laws or University Policies
    1. Users must adhere to licensing agreements that the University has with its vendors. All use of UA Little Rock IT systems and network must be consistent with all contractual obligations of the university, including limitations defined in software and other licensing agreements. Users are not authorized to download and install unapproved software without prior authorization and approval from IT Services.  Approved software can be located and installed via the Software Center. It is always incumbent on each UA Little Rock user to ensure that their use of the software remains in compliance with the UA Little Rock license.
    2. Possession of a copy of UA Little Rock-licensed software does not imply personal ownership or unrestricted use of that software.
    3. Users who leave the University must relinquish any university licensed software, and, consistent with the university’s Intellectual Property Policy, all UA Little Rock-owned data. Questions about the appropriate use of UA Little Rock-licensed software may be directed to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the office of Information Technology Services (ITS) at 501.916.5025.
    4. Departing employees are not entitled to remove, destroy or copy any of the business-related documents entrusted to their care or created by them during their employment unless otherwise permitted by UA Little Rock.
    5. Without specific authorization by the system administrator, users must not remove any university-owned or administered equipment or documents from an IT system.
    6. Users must not violate copyright laws. Such violations include, but are not limited to, illegal peer-to-peer file sharing and unauthorized downloading of copyrighted content (like movies, songs, TV shows, and other broadcasts).
    7. Users must not use UA Little Rock computing resources to harass others or to publish libelous statements. Various types of harassment, including sexual or racial, are proscribed by other University policies.
    8. Users of UA Little Rock IT Systems are subject to all federal and state obscenity laws. The use of university resources to access pornographic materials for non-work purposes may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
    9. Users must not use UA Little Rock email or other technology for Intentional, non-incidental acquisition, storage, and/or display of sexually explicit images or to send unsolicited commercial email or sexually explicit email as defined in Arkansas’s Unsolicited Commercial And Sexually Explicit Electronic Mail Fair Protection Act.
    10. Users must not use UA Little Rock IT Systems (e.g. e-mail, social media, blogs), without specific authorization, to imply UA Little Rock support (as opposed to personal support) for any position or proposition.
    11. Users must observe all applicable policies of external or off-campus data networks when using such networks.

Access to Data and Data Classification

  1. UA Little Rock will exercise its right of access to the digital information of users only in the following circumstances:
    1. Those instances where the university has a legitimate “need to know.” Examples include those where there is reasonable suspicion that: a user is using email to threaten or harass someone; a user is causing disruption to the network or other shared resources; a user is violating university policies, laws, or another user’s rights; a student is engaged in academic dishonesty, or a faculty or staff member is in violation of any University policy addressing research misconduct. “Need to know” access will be conducted by ITS staff only after securing the approval of the General Counsel. If access provides evidence of a violation of law, this policy, or other University policies, the results of such access may be shared with other appropriate officials of the University.
    2. Those instances in which the university must comply with a Freedom of Information Act request, a subpoena, or a discovery request.
    3. Those instances in which an employee is absent from work and access to specific computer records is critical to continue the work of the University during their absence.
    4. Those instances in which access to university information is required in order for Technical Staff to carry out their administrative practices – e.g., backing up files, cleaning up trash or temporary files, searching for rogue programs, or conducting routine systems maintenance. This restriction does not apply to the collection of audit trails and usage logs by UA Little Rock Technical Staff. There are times, however, in the regular course of their jobs, when Technical Staff may come in contact with private or personally identifiable information.  In this event, UA Little Rock Technical Staff are responsible for keeping that information secure and must not divulge it to anyone unless they believe a breach of law or policy has occurred.  Technical Staff is regularly reminded of this responsibility.

Reporting and Compliance

  1. Incidents that violate this policy may or may not require an immediate response. Those that pose an immediate danger to persons, systems, or property will be addressed by the appropriate university agencies.  Whether or not an incident requires an immediate response, violations of this policy may result in revocation of access, suspension of accounts, disciplinary action, or prosecution.  Evidence of illegal activity will be turned over to the appropriate authorities.
  2. Any violations of this policy should be reported by e-mail to the UA Little Rock-SIRT at abuse@ualr.edu or by phone to CIO in the office of Information Technology Services (ITS) at 501.916.5025.
  3. Users must not conceal or help to conceal or “cover-up” violations by any party. Users are expected to report any evidence of an actual or suspected violation of this policy to the systems administrator of the facility most directly involved. In case of doubt, the report should be made to the UA Little Rock Chief Information Security Officer and/or UA Little Rock Chief Information Officer.

Review

This policy should be reviewed at least once a year or when required by legal and/or regulatory changes.

Additional Documents and Policies

  1. Definitions
    1. Sensitive Data: Sensitive data is a blanket term used to designate classes of data with a high level of security that the University is legally or contractually required to protect.   Sensitive data refers to any element of data that is uniquely or in aggregate protected by federal regulations (ex: HIPAA, FERPA), categorized as PII or PHI, or any other data that has been identified as business critical or business-sensitive data, such as financial records or intellectual property of UALR.
  2. UA Little Rock E-Mail and Communication Policy
  3. UA Little Rock Password Management Policy
  4. UA Little Rock Network and Access Management Policy
  5. UA Little Rock Password Management Guidelines
  6. UA Little Rock E-Mail Communication Guidelines
  7. USENIX System Administrators’ Code of Ethics
  8. Arkansas’s Unsolicited Commercial and Sexually Explicit Electronic Mail Fair Protection Act 
  9. State of Arkansas Freedom of Information Act
  10. SS-70-001: Arkansas DIS Data and System Security Classification 
  11. FERPA
  12. HIPAA
  13. PCI 3.2
  14. ISO-27001:2013
  15. NIST 800-53A
  16. NIST-Cyber Security framework

Source: Board of Trustees Policy 285.1
Status: Active
Approved By: Christina Drale, Chancellor, 10/21/2020
Originator: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Custodian: Information Technology Services