Security Awareness Protecting Sensitive Information. Western Carolina University March 2011. Objectives. What’s so important?. Universities hold massive quantities of confidential data and are traditionally seen as easy targets for data theft
Western Carolina University
Universities hold massive quantities of confidential data and are traditionally seen as easy targets for data theft
We must understand the types of data that we hold and related business processes
Credit/Debit Card #s
Social Security Numbers (SSN)
Drivers License Numbers
Bank Account #s
Personally Health Information
Student Education Records
Proprietary Research Data
Confidential/Privileged Legal Data
To protect the security and integrity of the University’s data
Applies to all data (paper and electronic records)
Addresses access to and disclosure of data
Members of the Executive Council (Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Athletic Director, and Legal Counsel) are the designated Data Stewards who are ultimately responsible for ensuring the appropriate handling of University data
Department Managers are responsible for ensuring that employees comply with all University policies on data security, as well as Information Technology and the Office of Institutional Research and Planning requirements
All University employees are responsible for complying with University policies on data security
Confidential – limited access to and limited disclosure of data
Third Party Confidential – limited access to and limited disclosure of data (usually by contract with non-disclosure agreement)
Internal – limited access
Public – unlimited access and disclosure
The Information Technology (IT) Division’s Networking & Communications department has the responsibility for the design, maintenance and security of the university’s data network.
To insure the integrity of the networkthe following items must complied with.
1.No device may be added to the network which does not conform to the approved list of devices, maintained and published by the IT Division, without prior approval of Networking & Communications. Rogue network devices will be automatically and immediately disabled upon detection.
2. No individual or office may connect a device to the campus data network that provides unauthorized users access to the network or provides unauthorized IP addresses for users.
3. Networking & Communications has the right to quickly limit network capacity to, or disable, network connections that are overwhelming available network bandwidth to the detriment of the university.
4. Access to networking equipment in wiring closets, etc. is limited to the Networking & Communications staff or their designees.
5. No consideration of changing the architecture of any part of the data network may be undertaken without the early and regular involvement of Networking & Communication Services.
The “Access Control Procedures Checklist” is accessible at the following link or you may copy and paste the web address.
Policy 95 – Data Network Security and Access Control
All persons with access to the university network must sign a Confidentiality Agreement that is maintained in their personnel records for employees or by the requesting department for non-employees. Employee supervisors are responsible for having employees sign the agreement, and requesting departments are responsible for non-employee compliance with the requirement.
Universities are required to comply with federal & state laws and regulations regarding the way they use, transmit & store sensitive information, and to meet payment card industry contractual obligations
HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (health data)
GBLA – Gramm Leach Bliley Act (financial data)
FERPA – Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (education records)
NC Identity Theft Protection Act (personal data, especially SSN)
PCI Data Security Standards (MasterCard and Visa)
The state’s Identity Theft Protection Act (ITPA) is designed to protect individuals from identity theft by mandating that businesses and government agencies take steps to safeguard Social Security numbers and other personal information
More then 10 million ID theft victims nationally per year – the equivalent of 19 people per minute
Has surpassed drug trafficking as #1 crime in the nation.
In NC alone, the number of reported identity theft crimes have more then tripled over a 4 year period.
Lost/stolen computing devices
Lost/stolen paper records
Unauthorized physical access to computing devices
The practice of acquiring personal information on the Internet by masquerading as a trustworthy business
Usually installed onto a computer by downloading other programs such as screensavers, games, and “free” software
Trojans – malicious programs disguised or embedded within legitimate software
Unauthorized and/or illegal computer trespass executed remotely via some form of communication network
(e.g., the Internet, LAN or dial-up network)
Unsecured work stations, offices, desks, files
Unattended computing devices
Removable Memory Devices
Cab drivers in one major city reported that; 4,973 laptops, 5,939 PDAs, and 63,135 mobile phones were left in cabs over a 6 month period.
A hacker’s favorite tool—the ability to extract information from computer users without having to touch a computer.
Tricking people to give out information is known as “social engineering” and is one of the greatest threats to data security.
Social engineers prey on some basic human tendencies….
The desire to be HELPFUL
The tendency to TRUSTpeople
The FEAR of getting into trouble
Despite security controls, a university is vulnerable to an attack if an employee unwittingly gives away confidential data via email,
by answering questions over the phone with someone they don't know,
or by failing to ask the right questions
WHAT – data type
WHO – has access to the data
WHERE –data originates, resides, goes
HOW –data gets where it’s going
If you don’t need it for business purposes, don’t collect it
If you do need to collect it, maintain it securely
If you need to share it, transmit it securely
Confidential data should never be located on a web server
Use a secure WCU server (H: drive) to store confidential data - do not maintain data on local disk (C: drive)
Do not create, maintain “shadow data” (duplicate data) – if you must maintain it, keep it on the H: drive
Encrypt confidential data whenever possible
Redact confidential data whenever possible (e.g., the last four digits of SSNs, partial credit card numbers)
Be careful to whom you give sensitive information.
Ask yourself some questions:
Do you know who they are?
Do they have a need to know?
Do they have the proper authorization?
Never give your password to anyone
Don’t use the same password on multiple systems
Use a strong password (i.e., 12 alpha, changed case, numeric characters) on all your computer systems and change them regularly
Avoid using the “auto complete” option to remember your password
Avoid storing passwords (e.g., "check box to remember this password”)
Log off or lock your workstation when you leave (CTRL-ALT-DEL)
Use a screensaver with a password enabled
Turn your computer off when you go home
Avoid using Instant Messaging and Chat software
Avoid using Peer to Peer file sharing software
Don’t download or install unauthorized programs
Keep your computer up to date with the latest antivirus definitions and security patches
Don’t open unknown or unexpected email attachments
If you receive an email with a hyperlink, don’t open it in the email – open a web browser and type the link in manually
Email is sent in clear text and should never be used to send confidential data
Don’t leave confidential data unattended on your desk, FAX, printers or copiers
Keep confidential data stored in a locked desk drawer or file cabinet
Shred confidential data for disposal (in compliance with the NC Records Retention and Disposition Schedule)
“I understand that there is the potential for some people to deliberately or accidentally steal, damage or misuse the data that is stored within my computer systems and throughout our university. Therefore, it would be prudent for me to stop that from happening.”
U R IT