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NSF Computer Security Policy

Updated: April 2004

Introduction   |   Update   |   Planning your visit to NSF
While at NSF   |   Prerequisites for Wireless Access   |   Questions and Feedback


NSF Visitors and Panelists:

All computers coming into the NSF facilities will be scanned to validate the presence of current virus protection software and operating system patches.


Introduction

While at NSF, panelists require network access to use the Interactive Panel System (IPS) and often want Internet access to check their email or other services at their home institutions. Other visitors to NSF require Internet access for a myriad of reasons, such as access to remote services to conduct demonstrations. To provide you with access to Internet services during your visit, NSF has an "External Local Area Network (LAN)" available for your use.


Update

In April 2004, wireless access was activated on the External LAN used by panelists and visitors. We are pleased to offer this service to our customers. Most systems that are wireless enabled can be configured to access the External Wireless LAN. Please read below for additional details on using the Wireless External Network at NSF.


Planning your visit to NSF

To help ensure network security, NSF has implemented a policy that requires all incoming computer equipment be scanned for viruses, operating system patch levels and up-to-date anti-virus software. Taking the time to prepare your computer prior to your visit will:

If you plan on bringing your computer to the NSF facility, we ask you to ensure that your computer meets the following conditions:

NOTE: Not completing these conditions prior to your visit may significantly impact the time it takes to go through the scanning process.

For your convenience, we have prepared instructions for configuring Automatic Updates for the Windows XP Operating System. This link also includes links to the Norton and McAfee sites for anti-virus software update information.


Prerequisites for Wireless Access

In order to use the wireless capability, wireless network adapters must support either the 802.11b or 802.11g standards. For use in the Central Conference rooms (3rd floor of Stafford I and 5th floor of Stafford II), most 802.11b and 802.11g cards will work well. In other areas of the buildings, where coverage is not quite as concentrated, we have found that some older or very inexpensive adapters do not perform well. We have successfully tested the five adapters below and found that the first three work best throughout the buildings. The last two, although fine in the Central Conference Rooms, are susceptible to reception problems in some other areas of the buildings.

Manufacturer Part #
Cisco Systems AIR-CB21AG-A-K9
Linksys WPC54G
3Com 3CRPAG175
IOGEAR GWP511
NetGear WG511NA

While at NSF

We appreciate your assistance and cooperation in working with us to make your visit productive and to keep our environment safe while you are at NSF.


Questions and Feedback:

If you have any concerns or questions about the laptop scanning program, please contact your NSF Program Officer, or NSF's IT Help Central at 703-292-HELP (4357), email: helpdesk@nsf.gov, or call toll free at 1-800-711-8084, 7:00 A.M. EST through 9:00 P.M. EST, Monday - Friday.


National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: 703-292-5111, FIRS: 800-877-8339
TDD: 703-292-5090

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