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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, Windows 7)
  • 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 access to:

  • Managed Department fileservers, so that data collected by the computer can be accessed from elsewhere
  • McAfee antivirus updates
  • Microsoft update servers
  • University Windows/Office license activation server

Any computer or device connected to this network must only be used for a specific research or teaching purpose. The computer or device must not be used to process highly sensitive data, including student, staff, graduate, alumni, customer, client, and financial data, as well as any other personally identifiable information.

Please contact the Computer Officers for further information.

System status 

System monitoring page

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