March 18, 2019 | Data

How to Investigate and Prevent Security Threats

LabStats tracks hardware, software and user activity. Two features can help lab managers investigate and prevent misuse of resources: tags and alerts.

2 min

Sometimes physical damage happens to a machine or lab. Sometimes users download malicious software. Sometimes harmful information or threats are sent out from machines.

Security in campus computer labs can be a huge problem and headache for lab managers everywhere. Trying to keep an eye on students and their activities while also performing daily duties and respecting student privacy laws is a daunting task.

Lab managers need to be able to:

  • Easily and thoroughly monitor what students are doing on campus computers to make sure the equipment is not being used inappropriately
  • Be quickly alerted to potential security threats

Binghamton University in New York had a problem with students using their campus computers in fraudulent/inappropriate ways. They needed someone to help their University Police Department investigate various types of crimes, ranging from fraudulent credit card use to actual theft of computer hardware from their labs.

They used LabStats to see who was logged into a machine at any given time which helped them find and deal with students with malicious intent.   

LabStats tracks hardware, software and user activity. Two features can help lab managers investigate and prevent misuse of resources: tags and alerts.

Using Tags

Lab managers can use the tags feature of LabStats to see who is signed into each machine at any given time and thereby:

  • Recover missing hardware
  • Discover unethical use/cheating by checking what applications were in use and when
  • Find out who might be downloading malware

Using Alerts

Lab managers can use the alerts feature of LabStats in these ways to find potential problems as well:

  • Stations not reported in for {n} minutes
  • Stations turned on for {n} minutes without login
  • Current login sessions exceeding {n} minutes
  • User logged into multiple stations concurrently
  • Untagged Users
  • Untagged Stations

These could all be innocuous, but they could also be indicators of a problem. Even if it ends up being nothing, it’s helpful to have this information on hand just in case.

With all the different responsibilities on your plate, you need to have a way to quickly and easily find where, when, and how problems occur. Find out what’s happening in your labs now with LabStats.