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The Sensitive Information Remediation Project, better known as Project SIR, is a campus-wide initiative to scan, find, delete and/or secure sensitive information. UNC-Chapel Hill units, departments and individuals across campus are protecting the University’s sensitive information by participating in Project SIR.

We talked with David Kass, Associate Vice Chancellor of University Development Operations, and Mark Ingram, ITS Infrastructure & Technology Manager, about the value and shared responsibility of scanning as well as the ease of using IdentityFinder, Project SIR’s file scanning software.

University Development, which is the central point for all philanthropic giving that comes into the University, encounters much sensitive information. “We do have sensitive data that comes into our world and we care tremendously about protecting it and making sure it doesn’t get out into the hands of the bad guys,” Kass said.

Protecting University data is a shared responsibility

Kass underscored the importance of Project SIR and urged the campus community to help spread the word. “We’re in this together,” he said. “This is the University’s data, and it’s a collective responsibility across the enterprise to take care of this data and steward this data properly.”

If one person gets hit or one department gets breached, it is “a reflection on the entire University,” he said.

Using IdentityFinder is easy

Scanning for sensitive information shouldn’t be intimidating, Kass said. “I think people may put off scanning on their desktop simply because, one, they’re busy; two, they’re a little nervous thinking that this is a high-tech, IT responsibility and are afraid to do it on their own.”

Scanning is a simple, Ingram affirmed. ITS sends out the program over the network to individual users. They simply need to double click on the icon. While the program is running, it can be minimized on the screen, enabling other work on the computer to continue.

“The scanning tool does it for them,” Ingram said. IdentityFinder goes into each file to find Social Security and credit card numbers of which the computer user wasn’t aware.

“That just really gives us a level of confidence in what is being stored on the file system that we’re safe and as compliant as we can be and it helps us all sleep better at night,” Ingram said.

To learn more about Project SIR, click here.
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