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Safeguarding Devices and Data

From the Editor’s Desk

Rod SmithAs we approach the winter holiday and many of us may travel, it’s important to remember that electronic portable devices such as smart phones, USB drives, laptops, etc., carry with them an increased risk of being lost or stolen. As stewards of the University’s digital information, it is important that each of us exercise care and sound judgment in our use of University and/or personally-owned electronic portable devices that are used to conduct University business. Previously, the risk associated with a lost or stolen device was the monetary value of the unit; however, now the value lies in the personal and business information that is embedded in or accessible through use of the device.

The University’s Information Security Incident Management Standard states that each of us is obligated to report lost or stolen electronic portable devices, and this extends beyond property owned by the University, to include any personally-owned device that has been used to view, access or store sensitive, University-owned data.

If you experience the loss or theft of personal or state property that has been used to view, access or store sensitive University-owned data, follow these steps:

  1. Call the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk at 919-962-4357 (919-962-HELP).
  2. Ask to submit a “critical” Remedy ticket to the ITS-Security group regarding a security incident.
  3. Do not provide additional detail until you are communicating with an incident handler from the UNC-Chapel Hill Information Security Office.
  4. Provide a telephone number at which you can be reached shortly thereafter. You should expect a call within an hour.
  5. If you know your unit’s Information Security Liaison (ISL), and you are able to contact them directly, at once, and can speak with them in person and they assure you they can help you, this counts as reporting. However, leaving a message is not enough.
  6. Cooperate quickly and fully with the incident handler, reporting to any other responsible authority that the incident handler tells you to, until the incident is entirely resolved. You must take part until the University’s response is completed.
  7. In addition, if you experience the loss or theft of any state property you are also required to file a report with the UNC-Chapel Hill Police at 919-962-8100.

Related Articles

University-owned laptop with student data stolen

By Justin Horwath for The Minnesota Daily

Elizabeth Beaumont and the political science department recently got a taste of technology’s paradox: convenience sometimes complicates matters.

While in Palo Alto, Calif., a perpetrator stole a laptop in Beaumont’s possession that belonged to the political science department – out of a locked car. She is an assistant professor in the department.

University reports laptop with sensitive information stolen

By Staff Reports, Reveille news

The University is sending letters to approximately 5,500 individuals whose information may have been stored on a University-owned laptop which was recently stolen, according to Louisiana State University Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard.

Ballard said when the University learned of the theft they contacted local law enforcement and began an investigation, which included analyzing the data that may have been stored on the laptop. The investigation determined around 5,500 individuals’ information, including full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers, may have been stored on the laptop. A very small number of individuals credit card information may have also been stored on the laptop.

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