Security :: Protected Information Discovery Tools

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

"Protected information", sometimes called Personally-Identifiable Information, or PII, is an umbrella term for information that is linked to an individual person's identity, such as Social Security Numbers, drivers' license data, and credit card or bank account information and which can be used to facilitate identity theft. Universities in particular have become attractive targets for hackers because of the freedom with which information is exchanged in an academic environment.

HSU is legally required to protect PII that's been entrusted to our care. Because of the damage that inadvertent disclosure of protected information may do to the University, a campus-wide effort to locate this type of information is under way to ensure that adequate protection is in place.

By following the procedures outlined on this page, you can help us to reach that goal.

Please consult ITS before you begin; they will be able to help you with tools to complete the survey and provide the results to the information security office.

  1. Download and print the PII Scan Quick Guide and Survey Form, which contains instructions for conducting the Protected Information (PII) Scan and completing the Protected Information Survey Form.
  2. Select one of the recommended tools described below to scan your computer for protected information.
  3. Complete page 2 of the Protected Information Survey Form and return it to your supervisor or to ITS directly after you complete the scan.
  4. If you discover PII on your computer that you need to continue to store, please print and complete the PII Storage Authorization Form and return it to your supervisor or to ITS directly.

Notes for IT Support Staff

Every desktop and laptop system at HSU must be scanned for PII; if a computer system is used by multiple users, each user will need to run and evaluate their own PII scan results, taking care that the scan is limited to each individual user's files. While IT support will be required to assist users in scanning their systems, it is the user's responsibility to evaluate the output of the scan; this responsibility cannot be transferred to an IT staff member.

Please use the Protected Information Survey Form to collect the required information; this will help us in processing and assisting users who need to keep protected information on individual laptop or desktop systems. Contact the ISO at security@humboldt.edu for routing information.

PII Discovery Software

  Commercial Free
Windows XP/2003/2008 /Vista/7 Identity Finder for Windows
Pros:

  • Easy install
  • Simple configuration
  • Intuitive interface
  • Stable
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Uses non-standard encryption method
  • Must be purchased
Spider for Windows
Pros:

  • Free

Cons:

  • Unstable
  • Slow
  • High false-positive potential
  • Can't scan large Outlook PST files
Mac OS X - Intel Identity Finder for Mac OS X
Pros:

  • Easy install
  • Simple configuration
  • Intuitive interface
  • Stable
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Uses non-standard encryption method
  • Must be purchased
Spider for Mac OS
Pros:

  • Free

Cons:

  • Unstable
  • Slow
  • No preview capability
  • Must manually find and open files for verification
Mac OS X - Power PC Not supported Spider for Mac OS
Pros:

  • Free

Cons:

  • Unstable
  • Slow
  • No preview capability
  • Must manually find and open files for verification
Linux Not supported Spider for Linux
Pros:

  • Free

Cons:

  • Unstable
  • Slow
  • No preview capability
  • Must manually find and open files for verification

 

feedback