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Information Security

Responsible University Officer(s):

  • Vice President for Information Technology

Policy Owner(s):

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Brian Dahlin

Date Revised:

Apr 13, 2015

Effective Date:

Aug 9, 2010


University information is a valuable asset to the University of Minnesota and requires appropriate protection. Unauthorized use or disclosure of data protected by laws or contractual obligations could cause severe harm to the University or members of the University community, and could subject the University to fines or government sanctions.

In order to manage these risks, units and University community members must ensure that their electronic devices and other resources which store, transmit, or process University information meet the information security processes and standards contained in the appendices of this policy, and all pertinent laws or contractual obligations. Examples of standards include controls related to data storage, access controls, security protection software, and awareness.

This policy also applies to personally owned devices used for University business.


Employees must report known non-compliance with any requirement of this policy to University Information Security (

Individual University community members who do not comply with this policy or the University's information security standards may be denied access to University IT resources and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Units unable to meet a requirement within the information security standards must obtain an exception through the exception request procedure.

Units may specify additional more stringent requirements within their physical or administrative areas of responsibility.

The University Chief Information Officer or delegate may allow exceptions to this policy after consultation with the unit and the appropriate compliance officer.


This policy will help to:

  • comply with legal and contractual requirements to protect data;
  • safeguard University IT resources from accidental or intentional damage and the data stored or accessed by these IT resources from alteration or theft of data; and
  • designate the appropriate level of security requirements for securing IT resources






Primary Contact(s) Brian Dahlin 612-625-1505
HIPAA Compliance Medical Records, PHI
Medical Records,PHI
Lori Ketola 612-626-5844
FERPA Compliance
Student Records
Stacey Tidball 612-626-0075
PCI Compliance Credit Card Data Accounts Receivable Services 612-625-2392


A verification that substantiates a person's identity.
Compensating Control
An alternate but effective means of meeting a security requirement.
Compliance Officer
Representative of the University who is assigned compliance responsibilities for a particular area.
A control is any administrative, management, technical, or legal method that is used to prevent, detect or correct risks. Controls are also known as safeguards or countermeasures. Controls include practices, policies, procedures, programs, techniques, technologies, guidelines, and organizational structures.
Control Level
A level assigned to a control at each security level.
  • Required - Must apply the control.
  • Recommended - Should apply the control. It is not required due to limitations in available technology or because the control could potentially place an undue burden on a unit to implement. Units should evaluate the implications of not implementing the control and determine whether or not a compensating control has/can be implemented.
  • Optional - Evaluate and apply the control as appropriate.
Critical Server
A critical server is a server assigned the high or medium security level.
Information collected, stored, transferred, or reported for any purpose, whether electronically or hard copy.
Enterprise system or application
System or application that:
  • can be used by all of the University of Minnesota, including also system campuses and all units;
  • follows University policies and standards;
  • fits into the University's enterprise architecture; and
  • has been approved by the University's enterprise architect.
Health Care Component
Unit(s) of the University that provide health care or are part of the health plan or are designated by the University as health care components covered under HIPAA. These covered health care components include units that provide health care ("Provider Components") and the Health Plan of the University.
Information Technology Resource (IT resource)
Facilities, technologies, and information resources used for University information processing, transfer, storage, and communications. Included in this definition are computer labs, classroom technologies, computing and electronic communications devices and services, e-mail, networks, telephones (including cellular), voice mail, fax transmissions, video, multimedia, and instructional materials. This definition is not all inclusive but rather reflects examples of equipment, supplies and services. This also includes services that are University owned, leased, operated or provided by the University or otherwise connected to University resources, such as cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or any other connected/hosted service provided.
Private Data
For the purposes of this policy, private-highly restricted and private-restricted are defined in Administrative Policy: Data Security Classification .
Security Level
A level (high, medium, or low) assigned to data or IT resource following the process in Administrative Policy: Data Security Classification.
A computer which provides services for other computers connected to it via a network. Common examples are file servers, web servers, mail servers, and database servers.
Defines information security controls by which an individual or IT resource within the scope must adhere to.
A unit is an University entity such as a campus, college, program, or center.
University Community Member
A University community member is a student, faculty or staff member, University guest, volunteer, contractor, or employee of an affiliated entity.
University Data Network
The University data network includes University telecommunications facilities such as the UM data network with all wired or wireless links including departmental networks, ResNet, UM Wireless, academic and administrative network facilities, network facilities serving affiliates or tenants, and system campus networks.
University-Owned Computers
All computers purchased using University related funds, irrespective of whether the source of those funds is the legislature, research grants, sponsored, foundation or departmental budgets.
User Level Account
An account or logon ID on a computer that is authorized to run programs and applications and use the computer, but not to install programs or change the system configuration.


University Employee and University Community Member
  • Review and comply with this policy, the information security standards, and related procedures, as well as pertinent laws or contractual obligations.
  • Notify administrative and technical staff of private-highly restricted or private-restricted data that is stored on computers and other electronic devices.
  • Work with their IT Director, IT Service Director, or Department Head through the exception request process if needed.
  • Report non-compliance with this policy to University Information Security (email
Compliance Officer
  • Monitor data security compliance.
  • Investigate allegations and incidents of non-compliance.
  • Recommend appropriate corrective and disciplinary actions.
  • Develop and maintain policies related to the compliance requirements.
  • Oversee and coordinate breach notification processes.
  • Report non-compliance with this policy to University Information Security (email
Technical Staff
  • Take reasonable action to secure IT resources in accordance with this policy, information security standards and related procedures, as well as pertinent laws or contractual obligations.
  • Participate in campus and University-wide technical and security groups or forums.
  • Respond to technical questions from users related to securing IT resources.
  • Report non-compliance with this policy to University Information Security (email
Campus, College, and Department Administrators
  • Assign the responsibility of managing the risk and identifying specific security requirements associated within the collegiate or departmental unit.
  • Create, disseminate, and enforce local security requirements to comply with University-wide policies for IT resources under their control.
  • Provide oversight and assure the security of legally or contractually private data created, stored, or accessed by employees.
  • Manage the security gap analysis for data and IT resources for security control requirements.
  • Request exceptions to policy or information security standards, if needed.
  • Report non-compliance with this policy to University Information Security (email University Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Delegated authority and responsibility for Information Technology security.
  • Designate individuals who have the responsibility and authority for information technology resources.
  • Designate individuals who have the responsibility for information technology policies.
University Chief Information Security Officer or Designate
  • Delegated authority and responsibility for Information Technology security from the CIO.
  • Establish and maintain an Information Security Advisory Committee to provide guidance on information security policy, standards, and procedures, requested exceptions to policies and information security standards, information security risk, information security incidents, and other information security related matters.
  • Establish information security policies and standards to protect University data, other private data, and University IT resources. Review and approve final information security standards following the CIO approved process.
  • Establish a process to review exception requests to information security policies and standards.
University Enterprise Architect
  • Review and approve final information security standards following the CIO approved process.
  • Approve the listing of a system or application as an enterprise system or application.
Office of Information Technology (OIT) - University Information Security
  • Manage the information security policies and standards exception process.
  • Provide guidance on information technology security issues.
  • Monitor and notify regarding potential intrusions.
  • Review reported and discovered security incidents.
  • Establish and publish the criteria upon which a server is determined to be a "critical server" and provide oversight for the vulnerability scan process.
  • Operational responsibility to remove non-compliant electronic devices from the network and, as appropriate, retrieve equipment and data as part of an investigation.
  • Coordinate with the unit administrative and technical/security staff to assure that actions are taken as necessary to protect University resources.
  • Coordinate with law enforcement, compliance offices, and the Office of the General Counsel.
Security Advisory Committee
  • Advise on information security issues.
  • Advise on exceptions to information security policies and standards for high-level risks to the University.


Related Policies

Related Laws and Regulations


April 2015 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision. Title of the policy changed from Securing Private Data, Computers and Other Electronic Devices to Information Security. The content updated to reflect information security controls and Data Security Classification. Basic and Enhanced Security for Computers and Other Electronic Devices procedure removed.
August 2010
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