Identity Finder

Identity Finder logo   To protect University confidential data, we are implementing Identity Finder.  

Identity Finder is an application that scans a computer, including removable drives and network drives, and reports all files that potentially contain credit card numbers, passport numbers and Social Security Numbers.  After the scan, Identity Finder gives options to remediate -- or clean up -- the reported files. We are committed to protecting University data and providing campus with the tools to help.  Please see our  Identity Finder Instructions  and FAQ.

Identity Finder FAQ

Questions?  Contact security at appstate.edu 

Why are we implementing Identity Finder?

Identity Finder can help us identify and secure Confidential Data to reduce the risk of data loss and identity theft. Confidential Information may be stored on end user computers and may migrate with employees when they are assigned a new computer or their role changes at the University. In some cases, older confidential information may not have been securely deleted.

Our new Data Management Standard includes a Data Classification Scheme with tiers for Confidential Data, Sensitive Data, Internal Data and Public Data. Our Guidance on Secure Storage and Sharing describe how to appropriately store and share Confidential Data, Sensitive Data, and Internal Data. Confidential Data -- like Social Security Numbers (SSN), credit card numbers, and Passport numbers -- should only be stored in Banner, uStor, and Fortis and shared for University business purposes through FileLocker to reduce the risk of a data breach.

How do I download Identity Finder?

For University workstations, go to Casper Self Service (Macs) or  Software Center (an icon on your desktop) and search for Identity Finder in the upper right Search box.  Select Identity Finder and install and follow these instructions for using Identity Finder .  

When will my work station be scanned by Identity Finder?

We will first scan workstations in ITS to get the support in place for a further rollout of Identity Finder to units that routinely handle Confidential Data. University faculty and staff can choose to download the software (Windows and Mac available) from our Software Center or Casper Self Service to run Identity Finder on your own workstation at any time.

What files does Identity Finder search?

Identity Finder will scan your hard drive and any mapped drives (e.g., uStor folders or attached USB drives.)  uStor is an appropriate place to store University confidential data, but will be initially scanned so we can identify confidential data.  After the first scan, you can tell Identity Finder to ignore the confidential data identified on uStor from subsequent scans.

What Confidential Data Information does Identity Finder flag?

  • Social security Numbers in the format NNN-NN-NNNN as well as NNNNNNNNN
  • Passport Numbers
  • Credit Card Numbers -- MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and Diners Club

What should I expect if ITS scans my workstation?

The ITS Office of Information Security (ITS-OIS) and/or ITS Consultant will make an appointment to scan your workstation. We will install the Identity Finder software, run the software, review the report with you and assist with remediating files.

What happens to the Identity Finder report?

The person who runs Identity Finder will be able to view the report, and “remediate” the files flagged as containing Confidential Data by shredding (deleting the file), scrubbing (redacting the Confidential Data elements from the file), or ignoring the file if it is already stored in an appropriate location.  An abbreviated report without the complete Social Security, passport, and credit card number is also stored on the Identity Finder server maintained by the ITS Office of Information Security (OIS).  OIS is available to help with remediation.  

What is a false positive?
 A false positive is a match in Identify Finder that may look like a SSN, credit card number, or passport number, but is actually just a series of numbers in a similar format as the pattern of the search criteria. The numbers could be the same length or start with the same set of numbers as, for example, credit cards.  If you have concerns about the number of false positives in your report, please contact security@appstate.edu

How do I decide what data to securely discard or keep?

Prior to scanning, please confirm with your supervisor where files containing Confidential Data should be stored, and how long they should be retained given our retention schedule and our Secure Storage and Sharing Guidelines.  Please contact our Help Desk (support@appstate.edu 262-6266) if you need help arranging for secure storage.  

How can I reset my Identity Finder profile password?

The Identity Finder profile password provides the ability to save settings, configuration information, and sensitive data across sessions. It is not possible to recover a lost password; however, it is possible to delete a profile and create a new one. When the profile password is created, that password is used to encrypt the profile. The profile password is not stored anywhere and therefore if it is lost or forgotten, all of the information in the profile will be lost including:

  • Custom Folders, Remote Computers and authentication credentials
  • Only Find Identities
  • Document Overview
  • Ignore list entries
  • Password Vault entries
  • Database connection information
  • Websites list

 


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