Screen lock security feature to be introduced in January

November 29th, 2017

In July, the University introduced a new security feature — intruder lockout — to protect individual user accounts from multiple password attempts. To ensure security best practice continues the University will now be introducing an additional security feature — screen lock — from January 2018.

What is screen lock?

Screen lock is the automatic locking of a desktop or laptop PC screen after a period of inactivity by the user (for example, no keyboard strokes or mouse activity).

From January 2018, screen lock will be triggered for UoN staff and PGR laptops/desktops after ten minutes of inactivity. After this time, the desktop/laptop will require the user to re-enter their password to unlock the machine and continue working. If users wish to immediately lock their desktop/laptop screen (recognised best practice), this can be triggered by pressing Windows key + L on the keyboard.

Why are you introducing screen lock now?

The University is at more risk than other organisations because of the open campus and public access to many areas. The increase in laptop use and staff mobility also leaves devices more exposed in public places.

What devices will screen lock affect?

Please note that screen lock will only affect staff and PGR laptops/desktops which are University managed Windows machines. This will not apply to machines in computer rooms or lecture theatres. Computer rooms already have a policy that automatically logs the machine off after 20 minutes of inactivity.

The introduction of this new security measure is part of the development of a comprehensive digital security strategy led by Jason Carter, the University’s first Chief Information Security Officer.

A set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the introduction of screen lock and the rationale behind the introduction of this simple but effective security measure is available on the IT Services website.

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