Computer System - Hardware and Network Configuration
Hardware and Network Configuration
The main servers hosting the NICR registration system and users have been converted to Windows 2003 server to keep pace with modern technology.A number of older PCs were decommissioned and replaced with new ones.In addition, a number of laptops were purchased to replace older models and for new staff.
Core staff have connection to both the NICR and QUB networks, using separate PCs, thus maintaining security of the NICR network.Additionally, all PCs have constantly updated anti-virus software, regardless of which network they are connected to.Finally, the IT staff ensure that the Windows operating system is kept up-to-date by regularly installing patches released by Microsoft.Many of these patches are security updates to ‘plug’ potential holes in the operating system which could allow access to the PC via some of the ports – although this is not an issue for the NICR network as it is standalone, with no connection to any external network.However, without such action, PCs connected to the QUB network could be compromised.In addition, PCs on the QUB network have additional protection via firewall software and anti-spyware programs.
Planned infrastructure changes have been implemented.Firstly, the NICR hub was relocated to a new purpose-built server enclosure within the NICR offices.Previously it had been resident in a QUB owned cabinet external to NICR and thus presented a potential security weakness.Both main servers have also been relocated to this small server room which has a dedicated power supply and thermostatically controlled air-circulation/cooling.Secondly, a private BT circuit from NICR to the Directorate of Information Systems (DIS), has facilitated a third party connection to the HPSS network.Using this link we have been able to provide access to COIS for our Tumour Verification Officers (TVOs), which has greatly facilitated checking of tumour data.Although only one PC has been dedicated for this facility, up to four PCs can be added if required.The link to the HPSS network could also provide NICR with a connection to NHS net in the future, if it is required.