USNH websites and web applications must be secure. This means that the tools and practices used to create and maintain them must ensure the appropriate confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services that they provide.
Standards for security of USNH websites and web applications are set by the Information Security Committee and monitored by Enterprise Cybersecurity Services.
For static websites, the primary security concern is limiting access to who can add or modify those files. In this regard, user account practices are of primary importance:
- Do not share usernames and passwords with anyone.
- Request administrative access to a website, web tool or USNH server for yourself or an employee using the IT Accounts Management System.
- If a user account has not been accessed in a year, an attempt will be made to contact the owner and potentially disable it.
- If you are hosting your own site, please review the hosting standard as well as the standard on standalone websites.
For web applications, proper user account practices are important, but there are many additional areas of concern in relation to security. The following is a summary of the most important points:
- Web hosting environments and associated database systems supporting them should be maintained by experienced professionals. For additional information on hosting, see the standard on web hosting.
- Underlying frameworks and technologies must be updated on a regular basis, especially to install security-related patches.
- Web applications should be tested for issues with the web application coding before being put into production, at least annually once they are live, and after any significant revision to the application. These issues include concerns such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, authentication and authorization, and session control. USNH IT provides access to the Accunetix scanning tool to check web applications.
- Wherever possible, web applications that require users to authenticate should use USNH Authentication Services.
- Web applications must have a designated administrator and a backup person who is responsible for overseeing the web application and granting authorization of various levels of access rights to other individual users within that application.
- Web applications that involve sensitive or restricted data per the USNH Data Classification Policy must undergo a specific security review by Enterprise Cybersecurity Services.
- Web applications that are developed in-house should be following industry best practices such as the OWASP Top Ten Guidelines.
- The principle of least privilege should always be used in granting access rights and managing permissions in any web application.
If any USNH employee suspects a security-related incident with a website or web application, follow the Cybersecurity Incident Reporting process.
- Report the security incident to your manager. If you are a manager, contact the IT Service Desk and state that you are reporting an information security incident.
For questions regarding security, please contact Cybersecurity Services or the website owner or manager.
Responsibility for security
Website owners and managers of any websites set up on USNH servers are responsible for following security-related best practices for their websites. All USNH employees must report security-related incidents following the Cybersecurity Incident Reporting process. In addition, site owners and managers must comply with all relevant laws, university policies and this standard.
USNH reserves the right to remove a website or access to that website if the owner or manager does not appropriately maintain security practices. If the site or content owner cannot be contacted or is no longer at USNH, that content will be administered by Enterprise Technology and Services (ET&S) and can be removed if deemed inaccurate or inappropriate. USNH also reserves the right to remove a website or access to that website if it is considered to have violated this standard or any other USNH policies.
If inappropriate security practices are reported, USNH ET&S will contact the site owner to discuss the issue. Unacceptable responses may cause the UNH website, web application, or server access to be suspended.
Reports regarding inappropriate security may be sent to Enterprise Cybersecurity Services.