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Security Initiatives and Tools for Faculty and Staff Computers

What is Cyber Security?
Did you know that the University CTS department has to deal with cyber-attackers daily?  Cyber Security is the policies and technology that are put in place to protect not only the university’s digital assets, but also each individual’s. There are several good resources online that are accessible now on the CTS Website and will be enhanced over the next year. UWP CTS works to ensure as much transparency regarding our cyber-security efforts to the maximum extent possible. However, as attacks and information gathering methods advance, we must also. The best security requires a mutual effort between the IT professionals on campus and you, as users. You will begin to see more information released, which is critical to ensure your personal cyber safety, protect the University’s reputation and assets, and help us fully address FERPA and other state laws. The security solutions mentioned in this flier will be implemented campus wide on all computers. The only way we can continue to protect ourselves successfully is with support from the campus community. Every month we are going to publish several security tips. These will educate you to help secure the information privacy of each of us, our students, and the university.

What is BitLocker?
BitLocker is a hardware enabled tool that encrypts the hard drive of your computer to protect the Operating System from offline attacks. BitLocker drives are strong enough to protect your data in the event the computer is lost or stolen.  This is the type of attack where a malicious user will take the hard drive from your mobile machine and connect it to another machine so they can harvest your data.  BitLocker also protects your data if a malicious user boots from an alternate Operating System.  With either attack method, BitLocker encrypts the hard drive so that when someone has physical access to the drive, the drive is unreadable.  BitLocker only works on Windows 7 and 8 machines. It will not work on Windows XP machines or Mac’s.

Why do we need it on our computers?
BitLocker will protect confidential University and individual user data in the event that your machine is lost or stolen.

How will this impact the use of my computer?
You will not notice or use your computer any differently once BitLocker is enabled.

When will this be enabled on our machines?
All new Windows 7 machines being ordered will come with BitLocker enabled. Beginning Spring 2013 Semester any campus users that have laptops with Windows 7 will be the first machines that CTS will address. CTS will then begin implementing it on Windows 7 desktop machines.

What is Identity Finder?
Identity Finder is a software tool that will help in protecting you and our students from identity theft. The first step is to secure your computer and the personal data it holds. Identity Finder is a powerful tool that scans your PC for unsecured passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal data and gives you the option to shred, secure, recycle, or ignore the scan's findings. Like anti-virus software it also searches e-mail, compressed files, and removable drives.

Why do we need it on our computers?
A number of faculty and staff on campus work with student related PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data. This data on some occasions is saved in memory on your computer thus making it vulnerable in case of a virus or malware attack.

How will this impact the use of my computer?
Having Identity finder installed on your machine will allow monitoring of your own computer for saved PII data. By running the software yourself you can decide if you want or need to delete it. The CTS Networking Security Officer also monitors which machines have substantial PII data and will suggest best practices for managing it. If your machine is infected by a virus or malware, and it is determined, after an investigation, that data from your machine was compromised, the University may have to locate and notify all compromised users of the data breach.

When will this be installed on my computer?
Like anti-virus software the CTS Networking Security Team has the ability to push this software out to all machines on campus without causing any interruption to you or your time.

How long should I keep student grade records?
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside policy is that student grade records shall be kept for two years after the end of the semester. Destroy grade information in a confidential way (e.g., shredding) after two years.

What is the Desktop Lockout Policy?
Desktop lockout policy is a setting on your computer that will lock your machine after a designated period of time of inactivity. This will force the user to log back on to continue using the computer. CTS is only implementing this policy on faculty and staff machines. It will not be on any classroom instructor computer stations.

Why do we need it on our computers?
A number of faculty and staff work on confidential materials such as tests, student data and financial information. When you walk away from your computer, your machine will automatically lock after 10 minutes. This can ensure you that anything left up on your screen is still confidential.

How will this impact the use of my computer?
After a period of 10 minutes of inactivity your machine will lock and you will need to key in your password to log back in.

When will this be implemented?
The CTS Networking Security Team has the ability to push out this policy to all machines on campus without causing any interruption to you or your time.

Security Abbreviations and Definitions:
PII Data - Personally Identifiable Information
PCI Standards - Payment Card Industry Standards
FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Need More Information?
If you have questions about any of the information, please contact:
Campus Technology CIO, Ilya Yakovlev at x2010
Security Officer, Brian Tolejano at x2096

UW Parkside Acceptable Use Policy #81
Wisconsin Office of Privacy Protection Learn to protect yourself and where to go if your identity is stolen.

State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Enterprise Technology
Federal Trade Commission Find out how to deter, detect and defend against identity theft.

 

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