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Information Security

The Information Security page is intended to keep you up-to-date with IT security news and procedures.

1 Policies 1

Please click links below for USDA IT Policies.

Use of Information Technology Resources - P&P 253.4

Unauthorized Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Programs on Government Computers (SharePoint)

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Frequently Asked Questions (SharePoint)

ARS Information Systems Security Program - P&P 253.3

OCIO Acceptable Use Policy for Commercial Wireless Technologies in USDA

Bulletin 13-007 "Telework Security and Non-Government Furnished Equipment"

Bulletin 13-003 "ARS Information Technology Lifecycle Management"


1 USDA Cyber Security Awareness Training 1

Annual Cyber Security Awareness Training

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A‑130 require Federal agencies to provide annual security awareness and rules of behavior training to all employees, contractors, and students.

The Information Security Awareness course has a pre-test feature which allows you to skip the course if you pass the pre-test.  Otherwise, you will need to take the full Information Security Awareness course. 

All ARS employees, contractors, and students are required to complete Cyber Security Awareness training on an annual basis.  Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the loss of network access.  It is not necessary to print a certificate because it is recorded in AgLearn.  If you would like a certificate of completion for your personal records, you must go to your completed work folder in AgLearn to print it.  For any technical assistance, please contact your local IT Helpdesk.



1 Software updates 1

All computers connected to any network within the Madison location must have all critical, high priority, security patches, and service packs related to Operating System and software up-to-date.

To keep up with software updates, PatchLink update is used for office computers. PatchLink is an Automated Patch Management Solution that is used to help protect networks and computer systems from security threats.

PatchLink is built on proven technology for automated patch detection and deployment. It aids the managing and distributing of critical patches that resolve known security vulnerabilities and other stability issues with operating systems. It also enables support staff to work quickly, accurately and safely to ensure desktops and servers are patched correctly, completely and consistently.

The Patchlink update server will audit computers on a regular basis for security compliance. If the computer is found not to be compliant, the required level of security updates will be applied.

For more information on PatchLink, visit the following page: www.mlit.wisc.edu/software/patchlink/


1 Anti-virus software 1

Office use

All computers connected to any network within the Madison location must have Symantec/Norton anti-virus software installed and up-to-date. If you need help determining if your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software, please contact MLIT for inspection. For instructions on how to install or update anti-virus software, please see the following page: www.mlit.wisc.edu/software/antivirus/

Home use

Home use for Symantec Anti-virus is allowed. Please contact MLIT for instructions.




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