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Data Security

  • The University network is sited behind a firewall, in order to remove some of the likely threats to the individual and to servers.
  • MSD IT Services has a programme of firewall development to protect from external intrusions and cross-subnet intrusions within our networks.
  • No user should set up a server (even if this is a service to others from a workstation) without first contacting the MSD IT Systems Team for advice. If the Systems Team are not satisfied with the security of such a server, the server must not be put into service on the open network.
  • The largest threat to the individual comes from email and web viruses/Trojans/worms.  It is mandatory for all workstations to run a virus checker. All email entering the University Nexus email system is checked for suspect attachments/content, before being delivered to the recipient. MSD IT runs a similar check on messages entering the our mail list server.
  • MSD IT Services forces upgrades to popular operating systems at logon in order to maintain desktop computer security.

Physical security

Our two machine rooms (located at the Old Road Campus and the JR) are locked and air-conditioned. Both are in areas covered by CCTV. The JR machine room also contains an environmental monitor and other security measures. The JR Machine room has no backup cooling, however this is being investigated. All machines providing services are on 20 minute uninterruptible power supplies, the JR ones are also connected to the hospital maintained supply (generator backup).


Onsite: All our servers are backed up to disc. The IBIS project (Incremental Backup for MSD IT Systems) is disk based and performs an incremental backup every night. On this system a full backup is not required. With this system it is possible to recover files backed-up at any point. This service is now fully operational for all servers. The final version will include housekeeping routines that will delete unwanted files after say 1 year.

Offsite: The IBIS project involves 2 systems that back up each others local servers so that all backups are off site. In addition all servers are backed-up incrementally to the university-wide backup service the HFS (Hierarchical File System). This occurs every night.

Server provision

All user print and file store is provided by Novell OES servers. Other services are provided by Linux and Windows servers. The MSD IT has a program of reducing server numbers.


Most active storage on the JR site is located on a storage area network, with the exception of the IBIS project. The storage in the IHS machine room is directly attached to the single server and consists of a large IDE RAID.

Web services

Predominantly running on Linux servers using Apache.