Information Technology

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The VASWCD IT Committee works to provide advice and resources for Districts to improve their IT capabilities while maintaining a clearing- house of IT best practices across Districts. For more information on the IT Committee and its charter, click here.

The 47 Conservation Districts in Virginia are diverse, each with their own separate administration and characteristics. Although it is difficult to develop a unified policy that will be meaningful for all Districts, we present a set of recommended best practices and resources.

Cybersecurity Basic Concepts:

Personal actions and responsibility are a major part of maintaining a secure IT environment. One way to advise Districts is to develop an acceptable use policy for all District personnel.

An example of an acceptable use policy is (thanks to Thomas Jefferson SWCD):

 Thomas Jefferson SWCD Acceptable Use Policy

Here are some links to resources with more information on Cybersecurity:

https://www.antiphishing.org/resources/overview/protecting-your-devices-from-malware

https://stopthinkconnect.org/tips-advice/general-tips-and-advice

A technical resource for Cybersecurity Best Practices is the National Institutes of Standards and Technology website:

https://www.nist.gov/topics/cybersecurity

 Procurement of IT Resources:

How do you budget for IT services and devices? Do you upgrade your software or replace your device? This is a link to some helpful advice (it has tutorials and tips and tricks too):

https://www.lifewire.com/upgrade-or-replace-laptop-4153342

Public Records Management:   

Public Law 93-579, enacted in 1974 as the Privacy Act, states that the right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by the Constitution of the United States. So it is very important for District employees to safeguard the information entrusted to them and also to understand that many of District employees’ activities are regulated by Federal Privacy Laws.

SWCD Specific Record Retention Guidelines

Continuity of Operations:

The Library of Virginia’s Public Records Manual addresses the concepts of Risk Management, Continuity of Operations Plans, Records Emergency Action Plans, Compliance Audits and ongoing Awareness Training for District staff.

Virginia Public Records Manual: Library of Virginia

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