March 16, 2015

IT scan of employee workstations is set

As part of an ongoing effort to assess campus computers for sensitive information and comply with state requirements, the Information Security team will perform another campus-wide scan of all employee workstations March 28-29. 

As in previous scans, this scan will require that workstations remain powered on and users logged in.  Users should lock their workstation before leaving work on Friday, March 27, before the scan occurs. When users return to work March 30 and unlock their workstation they will be able to see the results of the scan run against their workstation.  Results of the scan will include an overview of any sensitive information found, along with options and suggestions on how to secure the information. 

If users forget, or fail to leave their workstations powered on and locked, the scan will proceed shortly after the user’s workstation is powered on the following week. 

Users of Windows desktops, laptops, etc. will see negligible difference in system performance. Users of Macintosh systems may see a slight performance degradation, which is why Information Security highly recommends that these systems remain powered on and locked over the March 28-29 weekend.  If you should experience difficulties contact Information Security at

Sensitive information that will be specifically scanned for includes Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, passport numbers and bank account numbers. You will be immediately alerted to the presence of such data and receive suggestions on how to manage that data. A more comprehensive description of sensitive information is here

Audit requirements, at the direction of the Illinois Auditor General, have dictated that SIU Carbondale undergo a comprehensive process to identify and inventory sensitive data across campus.  The ultimate goal is to identify and subsequently secure, or encrypt, sensitive data.  Many staff come into contact with sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers, as part of their daily job responsibilities.  The goal would be to assist these staff members in securely dealing with this type information in order to prevent loss and to protect the assets of the university.  On the other hand, there are computers, workstations, and servers across campus where sensitive data also resides either because of a historical need, one-time analysis, or perhaps from antiquated business processes where sensitive data is now not either known to reside or perhaps forgotten.  Where possible the intent is to always remove unneeded sensitive data from these systems.  This is the focus of this process and the first step is to locate where sensitive data may reside and to inform users so that they may take appropriate action. More information on how to handle sensitive information is available here

Information Technology has renewed the license for “Identity Finder,” a comprehensive scanning and analysis tool.  The results of this scan will be compared to previous scans to determine progress.  Please contact SalukiTech at 453-5155 or your local LAN administrator if you have any comments or questions about this assessment.