What’s Special about February?

Posted April 18, 2022 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Department News

What’s Special about February?

Five years ago, with the help of our virtual Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), GreyCastle Security, we created the inaugural Data Steward program at Wheaton College.  Although other colleges use the phrase “data owners” we were thinking in the same sort of terms that we use for money—we see our money as a gift from God which we have been entrusted to steward wisely.  We, arguably, do not “own” it.  Similarly, College data isn’t really “owned” by a particular person or group, but it needs to be managed and cared for, or stewarded, well.

Each year in February the 22 twenty-two different areas are tasked with carefully reviewing the Data Assets Inventory, making sure records of vendor relationships are up-to-date, and checking the permissions for accessing and viewing filed in Box. For example, it’s a good time to see who has permissions to various information.  Did an employee retire this year?  Then there’s no reason for him or her to still have access to records in Banner, for example.  Having a yearly rhythm provides a regular time to look over those sorts of details and ensure things are safe and up-to-date.

Although you may not be a data steward yourself, there are some practical things you can do to help protect college data.  For example, perhaps you have a monthly report that you need to share with a colleague in Box.  Get into the habit of creating an ‘expiration date’ for the links you make to send to your colleague.  That way, on a particular day the link will no longer be active, and you won’t need to remember to go back later and remove access/permissions to that document.  Small changes like that can help keep everyone’s data safer.

If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).