Applicable To: 

Duke Health

Duke University

Version 1.0


University IT Security Officer (OIT)


Duke University Chief Information Officer

Duke Health Chief Information Officer

Duke University Chief Information Security Officer

Duke Health Chief Information Security Officer


The purpose of this policy is to define the requirements for notification, testing, and installation of security-related patches on devices connected to Duke networks.


It is the stated goal of the Duke University and Duke Health to provide secure IT resources and services in order to protect institutional information assets, as well as the privacy of individual students, faculty, staff, patients, and other entities with which the institution has contractual obligations. In doing so, Duke University and Duke Health must comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other university or unit policies regarding protection of systems and data. The timely and consistent application of vendor-supplied security patches or mitigation of a reported vulnerability are critical components in protecting Duke University and Duke Health network, systems, and data from damage or loss due to threats such as worms, viruses, data loss, or other types of external or internal attacks.

Duke University and Duke Health authorized the IT Security Office and Information Security Office to conduct routine scans of devices connected to Duke University and Duke Health networks to identify operating system and application vulnerabilities on those devices.

Duke University and Duke Health require all administrators of systems connected to Duke networks to routinely review the results of vulnerability scans and evaluate, test and mitigate operating system and application vulnerabilities appropriately, as detailed in the Vulnerability Management Process. Should an administrator identify a reported vulnerability as a potential false positive, the appropriate security office should be engaged to verify.


This policy applies to all departments and schools of Duke University and Duke Health.

This policy applies to all electronic devices connected to Duke University or Duke Health networks (public and private) including but not limited to computer workstations and servers, network switches and routers, specialized laboratory equipment, etc.


System and application administrators are responsible for assessment and application of security patches that impact systems under their management and supervision.


Requests for exceptions to this policy (requests to not scan a device) may be granted for systems with other security measures (e.g., network filtering, firewall, etc.) in place to mitigate risk.

Any requests must be submitted in writing to the appropriate CISO for review and approval. Exception requests must include:

• Why the scanning exception is being requested.

• Risk to the enterprise of not scanning the device.

• Mitigation controls that have been implemented, and date of implementation.

• End date for the exception (not to exceed 6 months from the request date).

• In the case of systems or applications managed by departmental or school IT staff, endorsement of the request by the relevant IT staff


It is the responsibility of system and application owners to ensure that the policy described in this document is followed. IT administrators understand that the secure implementation of systems and applications is a critical part of Duke’s overall information security strategy.

The Duke University IT Security Office and the Duke Health Information Security Office are authorized to limit network access for devices that do not comply with this policy.

Review Frequency: Every 3 years

Last Reviewed: 02/18


Duke University Data Classification Standard

Duke University Acceptable Use Policy

Duke University ITSO technical standards


Document Type: Policy