PROCEDURE: DATE: August 18, 2003




SUBJECT: Computer Server Security


Prepared by: Danya Breckons


Approved by: Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent



PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to establish standards for the base configuration of internal server/network equipment that is owned and/or operated by Washington State School for the Blind. Effective implementation of this policy will minimize unauthorized access to Washington State School for the Blind proprietary information and technology.


SCOPE: This policy applies to server and network equipment owned and/or operated by Washington State School for the Blind, and to servers registered under any Washington State School for the Blind-owned internal network domain.


1. Ownership and Responsibilities

All internal servers deployed at WSSB must be owned by an operational group that is responsible for system administration. Approved server configuration guides must be established and maintained by each operational group, based on business needs and approved by the Technology Committee. Operational groups should monitor configuration compliance and implement an exception policy tailored to their environment. Each operational group must establish a process for changing the configuration guides, which includes review and approval by the Technology Committee and/or Superintendent.


         Servers must be registered within the corporate enterprise management system. At a minimum, the following information is required to positively identify the point of contact:

o   Server contact(s) and location, and a backup contact

o   Hardware and Operating System/Version

o   Main functions and applications, if applicable

         Information in the corporate enterprise management system must be kept up-to-date.

         Configuration changes for production servers must follow the appropriate change management procedures.


2. General Configuration Guidelines

         Operating System configuration should be in accordance with approved WSSB guidelines.

         Services and applications that will not be used must be disabled where practical.

         Access to services should be logged and/or protected through access-control methods such as application logging, if possible.

         The most recent security patches must be installed on the system as soon as practical, the only exception being when immediate application would interfere with business requirements.

         Trust relationships between systems are a security risk, and their use should be avoided. Do not use a trust relationship when some other method of communication will do.

         Always use standard security principles of least required access to perform a function.

         Do not use the administrator account when a non-privileged account will do.

         If a methodology for secure channel connection is available (i.e., technically feasible), privileged access must be performed over secure channels, (e.g., encrypted network connections using SSH or IPSec).

         All servers, network and telecommunications equipment will be physically located in an access-controlled environment.

         Servers are specifically prohibited from operating from uncontrolled cubicle areas.

         All lines located in areas near the server and telecommunications rooms will be out of sight


3. Monitoring

         All security-related events on critical or sensitive systems must be logged and audit trails saved as follows:

o   All security related logs will be kept online for a minimum of 1 week.

o   Daily incremental tape backups will be retained for at least 1 month.

o   Weekly full tape backups of logs will be retained for at least 1 month.

o   Monthly full backups will be retained for a minimum of 2 years.

         Security-related events will be reported to Information Systems Tech, who will review logs and report incidents to IT management. Corrective measures will be prescribed as needed. Security-related events include, but are not limited to:

o   Port-scan attacks

o   Evidence of unauthorized access to privileged accounts

o   Anomalous occurrences that are not related to specific applications on the host.


4. Compliance

         Audits will be performed on a regular basis by authorized departments within WSSB.

         Audits will be managed by the internal audit group or Information systems, in accordance with the DIS recommended guidelines. Information systems will filter findings not related to a specific operational group and then present the findings to the appropriate support staff for remediation or justification.

         Every effort will be made to prevent audits from causing operational failures or disruptions.


5. Enforcement

Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

6. Definitions

Term Definition

DIS Department of Information Services

WSSB Washington State School for the Blind

Server For purposes of this policy, a Server is defined as an internal WSSB Server. Desktop machines are not relevant to the scope of this policy.