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Campus SSN Remediation Program

[This message sent to all Veterinary Medicine faculty and staff via blind copy.]


As you may know the campus has embarked on a major initiative to remove electronic documents that contain Social Security numbers from faculty and staff workstations. This project represents a major milestone in the elimination of SSNs from the campus computing environment, an effort that began with the creation of a University-wide SSN policy in 2000 (see: http://www.ssn.uillinois.edu). At the request of the Provost and Chancellor, each academic and administrative unit will be required to certify that they have met the conditions of this program which includes having every faculty and staff member search for and remove or secure files containing SSNs from their systems.

Within Veterinary Medicine I have been asked to oversee our compliance efforts.
To assist in this search, the CITES Security office has developed a tool called Firefly that will search your computer and create a report on what it finds. This application will be installed on all College machines the next time you restart your machine starting Monday. (If you already installed it, that's fine.) Starting next week, everyone is asked to run this program on their office and lab computers, review the results and take appropriate action to remove any SSN's. The Firefly tool will find MANY false positives. You should be able to easily determine by the names of the files and where they are on your computer whether they really may contain SSN's.

In many cases your supervisor can answer whether specific files are records we should retain or delete. If you are unsure, please bring your questions to me and I will find the answer. Please inform me if you require access to SSNs to perform your job function. The campus Security Office has published some guidelines and search tools to assist you with the process of searching your systems at http://www.cites.uiuc.edu/ssnprogram/ssnscanning.html.

Computing Services has the task of running Firefly on our shared file systems. The reports will be distributed to the owners of the shares.

Please note that while I recognize that performing this search is an inconvenience, I consider it essential for protecting our faculty, staff and students from potential identity theft as well as minimizing the disruption from future computer security incidents. If you need assistance installing or using the available search tools, please contact Computing Services (net@vetmed.illinois.edu) In addition the CITES Help Desk is prepared to take questions via email or over the phone (http://www.cites.uiuc.edu/help).

All scanning and file remediation should be completed by December 31 for Veterinary Medicine.

Thank you.
Craig Flowers
Veterinary Medicine Computing Services, Director