Sources of Confidential Data
This article applies to: Security Essentials for IT Professionals
Some jobs are far more likely to access and store confidential data than others. Knowing which ones can help you prioritize data cleanup.
Important: Regardless of their role, people who have ever done any of the following probably have confidential data on their computer.
- Arranged travel.
- Handled reimbursement requests for visiting speakers or faculty.
- Hired students or employees.
- Written letters of recommendation.
- Handled transcripts or CVs.
Who Encounters Confidential Data?
- Human Resources: Social Security numbers are an essential identifier and are seen in older job applications, CVs, background checks, benefits registration, and tax materials.
- Financial Aid: Aid applications may require tax returns, bank statements, and other documentation. These contain social security numbers and bank account numbers.
- Financial Affairs: Reimbursements, travel expenditures, compensation, and purchasing often contain social security numbers for tax reporting and, occasionally, credit card numbers.
- University Registrar/Admissions: Social Security numbers remain a unique identifier within the university and other schools, testing agencies, and transcript clearinghouses.
- Alumni Affairs: Confidential data is a common component of the giving process due to its role as an income tax identifier.
- Health Services and Health Benefits: Protected Health Information is part of their daily operations.
- IT and Functional Support of Central Systems: PeopleSoft administrators and those who support them frequently come into contact with confidential data.