Section: Information Technology
Policy Number: 928Responsible Office: Information Technology
Effective Date: 5/1/19Revised: 5/1/19
This policy sets out the direction on how St. John’s University (St. John’s) assesses and manages technical vulnerabilities within the IT environment, which includes cloud services. Adherence to this policy increases the security posture of St. John’s and mitigate threats posed by vulnerabilities within St. John’s information systems.
This policy only applies to St. John's University Information Technology (IT) department. Therefore, all University information systems may not be covered by this policy. Adherence to this policy helps safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the University’s information assets, and protects the interest of the University, its customers, personnel and business partners.
Vulnerability and patch management is a security practice designed to proactively prevent the exploitation of IT vulnerabilities that exist within organizations and their systems. The expected result is to reduce the time and money spent dealing with vulnerabilities and exploitation of those vulnerabilities. Proactively and continuously managing vulnerabilities of systems reduces or eliminates the potential for exploitation and involve considerably less time and effort than responding after exploitation has occurred.
Assigning Risk Ratings
A process is established to review new security vulnerabilities and assign a risk rating in accordance with the 922 IT Risk Assessment and Management Policy. A simple scoring mechanism is implemented to place the vulnerabilities into three categories of “Critical,” “High”, or “Medium”. The risk rating depends on:
Patches and Updates
Procedures are in place to obtain copies of the software updates electronically when they are issued by the vendor. Updates are applied to systems based on the criticality of the update and the University’s standard and procedures in place.
Proactive measures to ensure the ‘strength’ of the University’s security controls are in place as follows:
Test results are recorded, risk assessed, ranked (usually as critical, high and medium) and applied to the treatment process to remediate any vulnerabilities found.
Internal and external targets for testing include but are not limited to:
Internal and external vulnerability scans are performed at least quarterly and after any significant change to the network. If required to fulfill St. John’s PCI DSS compliance requirements, external scans are performed via an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) designated by the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC).
The following are the definitions relevant to the policy:
The University reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy. Instances of non-compliance must be presented to and reviewed and approved by the CIO, the Director of Information Security, or the equivalent officer(s).
All breaches of information security, actual or suspected, must be reported to, and investigated by the CIO and the Director of Information Security.
Those who violate security policies, standards, or security procedures are subject to disciplinary action up to and including loss of computer access and appropriate disciplinary actions as determined by the University.