Find sensitive data before the bad folks do!
UNH Identity Finder (IDF) is a free application offered by Information Security Services (ISS) to UNH faculty and UNH/USNH staff. IDF scans your computer, file-shares and emails for unsecured sensitive information, such as Social Security Numbers, passport numbers, credit card numbers and passwords, which should not be stored on desktop or laptop computers, only on approved servers and applications. IDF helps you take appropriate action to remove or protect sensitive data which may be on your computer. Attackers look for sensitive information to steal money or identities and the best defense is not to have that information on your computer in the first place.
While you may think that you could not possibly have such information on your computer, use of IDF at UNH has revealed numerous cases where departments and individuals have retained old student files including their SSN’s which were used as the student ID up to 2006. In most cases, not only were the UNH employees unaware that the data was on their computer, but the data was old and no longer required to conduct the University’s business creating an unnecessary risk. A security breach of sensitive data often results in significant unplanned costs – over $15,000 in a recent incident - to the department responsible for the breach. Regular use of IDF can help avoid both potential harm to affected individuals and the University’s reputation as well as financial impact to your department.
IDF’s “Results Wizard” feature is especially helpful if you don't have a lot of experience working with this type of program. It displays the findings of scans to you and guides you through the process of addressing each individual issue to ensure the security of your information. IDF can also be customized to find other sensitive data that your department may handle including bank account or driver’s license numbers for example.
IDF offers you several different options for remedying each situation it finds. Once the program has identified sensitive information on your computer, you can decide how you'd like to take care of it. For instance, you can just send it to the “Recycling Bin”, which is a good choice if you're not sure you want to permanently delete it yet. Alternately, if you know you do want to eliminate the information permanently, you can use the “Shredder” feature, which makes it completely unrecoverable. If the sensitive data must be retained, UNH offers appropriate storage solutions including Box@UNH so that you can transfer the information before removing it from the computer.
IDF takes just minutes to download, install and run. For instructions, including the download link, contact UNH ISS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or webform at https://itsupport.unh.edu/itsec/ . If you feel you need assistance either to install or deal with findings, you can get help from your departmental IT Support or UNH ISS.
Don’t wait… the attackers are always busy looking for information to steal!