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Data Security

Handling and Processing Data

  • Data security and privacy requirements are still in effect, regardless of where data is located. Ensure that whatever device you are working from meets security requirements applicable to the types of data you are working with. For more information about these requirements please visit the USC Information Security Office.
  • Do not store confidential university data on any personal device (e.g. files that may contain SSNs, backing info, health records). If you do not have a university device for accessing confidential data, leverage the university’s virtual desktops or maintain the data’s secured location (example: university’s server or desktop).


Please visit our training page for more information on IT Security awareness and HIPAA training options provided by CON IT.

Sensitive Data Discovery

Spirion is software that runs on all USC computers to detect sensitive data and alerts the user for remediation.  Users may also use Spirion to shred sensitive files after their use on your computer.

Secure File Sharing

Microsoft has entered into a Business Associates Agreement (BAA) with the University of South Carolina. This agreement helps provide university students, faculty, and staff with a recommended tool for collaboration and secure file sharing, OneDrive for Business.  

Users can send encrypted emails and attachments through Microsoft Outlook.

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication (MFA), sometimes referred to as two-step or two-factor authentication, is an overly technical-sounding term for a very simple solution. Think of it as “password plus.” It operates on the assumption that just because someone knows your password, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are who they claim to be. It is an easy way to make sure that the only one using your credentials is you. It also helps prevent data breaches.

MFA is currently being used by USC students, faculty and staff for sites like, PeopleSoft and The Division of Information Technology will be turning on MFA for certain Office 365 applications for additional security.

Whole Disk Encryption

The loss or theft of unencrypted endpoint computers that contain sensitive data results in a high risk of the data being compromised, leading to an expensive breach notification. Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) solutions prevent the unauthorized disclosure of data on endpoint computers in the event the device is lost or stolen. It works by encrypting a system's entire hard drive including the operating system and all applications and data stored on it.

Secure Access (VPN)

Access to Internal Resources - A user can securely connect to the university network to access internal resources (K: drive) by leveraging the university’s VPN (Cisco AnyConnect). This solution can be used to access systems and network drives that are from the university network.

To connect to the K: drive off-campus, you must connect to the USC VPN and utilize a workstation and user account that have access to the shared server drive.

Security Guidance for Remote Working

Working remotely has many challenges and rewards, but users need to be aware of some risks that they take when working remotely.  Please follow the below link for more information and resources provided by DoIT.

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