FileMaker Pro Security for Providers
Important Note: Many schools and units have standardized on the use of specific database applications (such as Microsoft Access, Oracle, etc.) and may not support FileMaker Pro for their faculty and staff. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) strongly suggests that faculty and staff speak to their local support provider to determine which product(s) are supported before selecting database software.
FileMaker Inc.'s FileMaker Pro database software is widely used on campus. Because of FileMaker's ease-of-use and low barriers to implementation, it is often used by Schools and Centers for small-to-medium scale departmental databases. These databases often include confidential or sensitive data.
Current University-supported versions of FileMaker Pro (6.x and 7.x) have two significantly different security models with substantially different levels of security.
FileMaker Pro 6.0 and below (including FileMaker Server 5.5):
FileMaker Pro 7.0 and above and FileMaker Server 7.0:
For all versions of FileMaker Pro:
ISC strongly suggests that Schools and Centers that are still using FileMaker Pro 6.0 or lower make aggressive plans to transition to FileMaker Pro 7.0 or FileMaker Pro 8.0 in Fiscal Year 2006. FY 2006 will almost certainly be the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 6.0.
ISC also strongly suggests that Schools and Centers using FileMaker Pro databases implement passwords for all types of users - in other words, not even the most basic user should be able to use a FileMaker Pro database without entering a password.
For more information
FileMaker, Inc.'s FileMaker Security page.
The University's FileMaker Pro supported products page.
The University's Information Security resources for Application Developers page.
The University's Privacy web site.
- John Mulhern III, Senior IT Project Leader, ISC Technology Support Services
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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