IT Best Practices

Berkeley Lab computers are constantly under attack, but what should we, as users, do to protect ourselves and our systems? According to research conducted by Google, users and security experts often have different ideas as to what the best steps are to be taken.

To make it easier, Berkeley Lab IT has developed a series of IT Best Practices that all staff should follow when using Lab computers. These best practices address the most important security recommendations, data protection, and performance optimization.

IT Best Practices include:

  1. Install BigFix on ALL computers. BigFix is used to help keep your operating system and common applications up to date. There is even a Passive mode that you can use if don’t want any updates done automatically. 

  2. To make sure that updates are installed, it is also essential that you REBOOT your computer regularly! BigFix will also tell you when your system needs a reboot.

  3. Use LastPass, a password manager which IT provides for free. LastPass makes it easy to make sure you always use strong, unique passwords.

  4. Enroll in the Lab’s Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) system. With MFA enabled, an attacker who knows your Lab password still won’t be able to log in.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the IT FAQ and Cyber Security websites. These sites are updated regularly with important information for users.

  6. Install Sophos on all workstations. Sophos is provided for free by Berkeley Lab IT.

  7. Use Druva inSync to backup your workstation data, $51/yr for up to 10 computers

  8. Use VPN when on public networks (including LBL’s Visitor Wireless) or on travel. It is a good idea to use VPN whenever possible while offsite.

  9. Clean up your computer

  10. Use Google Drive / Google Shared Drive / Google File Stream to store important or shared files.