Protect High-Risk University Electronic Data
January 25, 2021
Thursday, Jan. 28, is Data Privacy Day. You might think that it is the job of ITS to protect the university’s electronic data — and you would be partially right. All Vandals have a critical role in protecting university data. It is particularly important that everyone understand their responsibilities, especially around high-risk data such as health information, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and bank or credit account numbers.
The loss of high-risk data could have a severe or catastrophic adverse effect on university operations or the reputation of the institution. It can put the university out of compliance with local, state or federal law and lead to huge financial penalties, loss of federal financial aid or make us ineligible for research awards. Most importantly, it can negatively impact the lives of our students, co-workers or friends of the university. It is important that there are university policies, standards and guidelines surrounding how to handle such data.
Here are things you can do to help protect high-risk information:
- If you don’t need it, don’t collect it or store it.
- Store high risk data on the S:\ drive.
- At this time, do not store high risk data in OneDrive, Sharepoint or Teams. ITS is working on changes to make this an option in the future. Low- and medium-risk data can confidently be stored in these services.
- Do not store high risk data on your computer hard drive unless the drive is encrypted.
- Never store high risk data, or any university data, on services outside of the university’s control or approval, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud or many others.
- Use external storage, such as USB drives and external hard drives, only in emergencies and ensure the devices are encrypted. Keep removable drives secure and delete the information when it is no longer needed.
- Take the required IT security training each year and apply what you learn.
In response to constantly changing threats, laws and university needs, ITS will continue to evolve new security measures while trying to make it as easy as possible for you to keep data safe. If you have any questions about how to help protect our data, work with your TSP or local support or contact the ITS Information Security Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu