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SNS Hunts Down Sensitive Data

That sensitive data resides on less-than-secure systems is a fact of university life. Over the last few years, there have been dozens of incidents in which stolen, lost, or hacked computers, hard drives, or removable storage devices resulted in more than 4.9 million reported users--students, faculty, staff, patients--having their personal or financial information exposed. And there isn't a lot IT staffs can do about it when they don't know which systems contain such sensitive data.

(For numerous examples of breaches on and off campus, including the types of breaches and the numbers of users impacted, see the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse's "Chronology of Data Breaches.")

"What you don’t know can hurt you. That is especially true within the campus environment," said Dan Toughey, president of TouchNet Information Systems, in a statement released during last week's Educause conference. "Institutions of higher education can do all the right things in preparing for PCI compliance and still be highly vulnerable to the loss of sensitive, personal information."

The company recently launched a new solution for finding sensitive information that IT administrators might not know exists on their systems. Called Seek-N-Secure, the solution is a combination of service and software designed to track down unprotected and hidden data, especially personally identifiable information, and protect that information. It's also designed to allow IT staffs to develop compliance strategies by identifying business practices that contribute to the accumulation of such data, according to the company.

Seek-N-Secure was introduced last week. More information can be fond at the link below.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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