Data sensitivity and file storage

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About this article

This article includes guidance on how to evaluate the files you create and manage using the WSU Data Sensitivity Continuum. It covers where to store files based on their sensitivity. It is intended for all WSU employees, including student workers, graduate assistants, and other students who may handle sensitive university information. It is particularly relevant for employees who are scheduled to exchange their laptops and tablets provided through the E-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program in the near future.

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Information security

All WSU students and employees are responsible for following campus, Minnesota State, state, and federal guidelines, policies, and laws regarding the appropriate handling of private and protected data. Specific information about WSU information security is maintained by our ITS Data Security Officer, Tobias Schmidt, at the Information Security page on our university website. Note that some sections of this site are accessible only to those who have an active StarID and password.

Backing up and storing your data

The WSU Data Sensitivity Continuum distinguishes among three types of data: personal or non-university data, public university data, and private/non-public university data. Of greatest concern to employees should be the handling of private university data. This includes student grades, employee performance evaluations, financial aid data, and of course social security and credit card numbers. When backing up your data, in preparation for a laptop exchange for example, please study the continuum carefully and remember:

  • Some private university data should never be stored anywhere except on secure campus network servers.
  • Do not store university data, public or private, on external, portable storage devices (e.g., external hard drive, flash drive, SD card). Use these for storing your personal data only.
  • Public and some private university data can be stored on your WSU-provided, properly-encrypted laptop or tablet device.
  • The only cloud-based solution supported by WSU for the storage of public and some private university data is Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Microsoft SharePoint. You should never put university data, public or private, into such consumer-focused cloud storage services as Dropbox or Google Drive.

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