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All computers that are permitted general network access must have their software and operating system kept up-to-date, to ensure the security of all computers on the Department network (bearing in mind that an infected computer can cause problems for other computers on the same network). Please see the Department's network usage policy for further detail.

However, the Computer Officers recognise that there are situations where it is not possible to comply with this policy, for example:

  • Suppliers of specialist software do not support the installation of Windows updates, especially where that software is used in connection with scientific equipment
  • Software used in connection with some scientific equipment is only compatible with operating systems that no longer receive updates (e.g. Windows XP)
  • A running experiment may be disrupted if an update is applied to a computer controlling scientific equipment

Whilst it is not safe to permit general network access in such cases, it is possible to connect such computers to a highly-restricted network in the Deparment ("legacy OS VLAN") which only permits:

Please contact the Computer Officers for further information.

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