CHAPTER 1200 Information Technology Services

1210 Information Security Policy

Cal Poly relies upon a highly complex and resource-rich information technology environment to provide critical teaching, research, and public service functions. Effective security practices are necessary to protect Cal Poly’s technology infrastructure and information the University is legally or contractually bound to protect. The University’s Information Security Program framework safeguards the institution’s computing assets in the face of growing security threats.

This Policy defines and describes the responsibilities and required practices for all members of the California Polytechnic State University (“University community”) with respect to Information Security and the protection of University information.

  • All members of the University community must comply with secure and responsible administrative, technical, and physical information security practices.
  • The Information Security Office and Information Technology Services will use appropriate security controls and protocols to protect against any malicious access to, or manipulation of, the University’s information resources and network infrastructure.

1210.1 Definition of Terms

Cloud Computing Services: Application and infrastructure resources accessed via the internet. Could computing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Use of servers or information technology services of any type that are not hosted by the CSU or Cal Poly (e.g., social networking applications, file storage, content hosting)
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): an application hosted, maintained, and updated by a third-party vendor and available to users over the Internet
  • Platform as a Service (Paas): a platform, hosted by a third-party vendor, on which the customer can develop and run applications
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): infrastructure such as hardware, virtual services, and operating systems provided by a third-party vendor

Electronic Device: Electronic equipment, whether owned by the University or an individual, that has a processor, storage device, or persistent memory, including, but not limited to: desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cameras, audio recorders, smart phones and other mobile devices, as well as servers (including shared drives), printers, copiers, routers, switches, firewall hardware, network-aware devices with embedded electronic systems (i.e., “Internet of Things”), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and industrial control systems, etc.

Electronic Media: All media, whether owned by the University or an individual, on which electronic data can be stored, including, but not limited to: external hard drives, magnetic tapes, diskettes, CDs, DVDs, and USB storage devices (e.g., thumb drives).

Information Security Incident: Any event that, regardless of accidental or malicious cause, results in:

  • disclosure of University data, whether electronic or in printed form, to someone unauthorized to access it,
  • unauthorized alteration of University data,
  • loss of data which the University is legally or contractually bound to protect, or supporting critical University functions,
  • disrupted information technology service, or
  • a violation of the University’s Information Security policies.

Examples of such incidents include, but are not limited to:

  • Malicious software installations on electronic devices that store University data not routinely made available to the general public, e.g., employee evaluations, or data the University is legally or contractually bound to protect (e.g., social security numbers, credit card numbers, Protected Health Information (PHI), research data, etc.).
  • Loss or theft of electronic devices, electronic media, or paper records containing University data not routinely made available to the general public or data the University is legally or contractually bound to protect.
  • Defacement of a University website.
  • Unauthorized use of a computing account.
  • Use of information technology resources for unethical or unlawful purposes (incidents involving employees and pornography should be reported directly to University Human Resources).
  • Contact from the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security or other law enforcement organizations regarding a University electronic device that may have been used to commit a crime.

Information Technology (IT) Resources: All resources owned, leased, managed, controlled, or contracted by the University involving networking, computing, electronic communication, and the management and storage of electronic data regardless of the source of funds including, but not limited to:

  • Networks (virtual and physical), networking equipment, and associated wiring including, but not limited to: gateways, routers, switches, wireless access points, concentrators, firewalls, and Internet-protocol telephony devices;
  • Cloud computing services: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a service;
  • Electronic devices containing computer processors including, but not limited to: computers, laptops, desktops, servers (virtual or physical), smart phones, tablets, digital assistants, printers, copiers, network-aware devices with embedded electronic systems (i.e., “Internet of things”), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and industrial control systems;
  • Electronic data storage devices including, but not limited to: hard drives, solid state drives, optical disks (e.g., CDs, DVDs), thumb drives, and magnetic tape;
  • Software including, but not limited to: applications, databases, content management systems, web services, and print services;
  • Electronic data in transmission and at rest;
  • Network and communications access and associated privileges; and
  • Account access and associated privileges to any other IT resource.

Risk Management: The process to identify, control, and manage the impact of potential harmful events, commensurate with the value of the protected assets. Risk management includes impact analysis, risk assessment, and continuity planning.

User: Anyone who uses University information technology (IT) resources. This includes all account holders and users of University IT resources including, but not limited to: students, applicants, employees, contractors, auxiliary organization employees, guests, and affiliates of any kind.

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1210.2 Policy

Cal Poly is committed to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its information and systems. To achieve these goals, University information and systems are secured and restricted.

This Policy complements and supports other University policies protecting the University’s information assets and resources including, but not limited to, the Data Classification standard, the Record Retention standard, and the Responsible Use Policy.

All access to and use of the University’s network, infrastructure, or information is governed by this policy. This Policy also addresses the use of any information generated, accessed, modified, transmitted, stored, or otherwise used by the University Community on the University’s information resources and network infrastructure.

Owners and overseers of the University’s Information Technology (IT) resources must take reasonable care to eliminate security vulnerabilities from those resources. In cases where University IT resources and privileges are threatened by other IT resources, Information Technology Services (ITS) may act on behalf of the University to eliminate the threat by working with the relevant owners or overseers. In circumstances where these collaborative efforts fail or there is an urgent situation requiring immediate action, the IT resource may be disabled or disconnected from the network by ITS. This policy applies to all users of the University’s information technology resources, regardless of location or affiliation.

All users of University IT resources are required to promptly report information security incidents to appropriate University officials.

Individuals or departments may not release University information, security incident details, electronic devices, or electronic media to any outside entity, including law enforcement organizations, before making the notifications required by this policy.

The University Information Security Office is responsible for responding to Information Security incidents. In addition to following up on reported incidents, this office may monitor IT resources for potentially malicious and/or harmful activity and take action deemed necessary based on detected activity or in order to enforce a University policy.

The management of each University Division or College is required to complete the process outlined in the Information Security Risk Management Standard and Information Security Risk Management Procedures at least annually; when there are significant changes to departmental or unit IT resources; or when there are significant changes to the risk environment. The department or unit head will sign off on the deliverables from this process, which will be stored in the University's central repository.

Members of the campus community will use the ICT process (see CAP 1203.2) for purchasing and deploying Information Technology resources used to store, access, or provide access to, protected data. The security evaluation will identify conditions the vendor must agree to contractually to ensure compliance with CSU Policy (CSU Information Security Policy – Supplier Relationships).

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1210.3 Compliance with Policy

Any misuse of data or IT resources may result in the limitation or revocation of access to University IT resources. In addition, failure to comply with requirements of this policy and/or its standards may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies, and may also violate federal, state, or local laws.

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References for CAP 1210

  1. Date approved by the President: April 23, 2020
  2. Effective Date: April 23, 2020
  3. Responsible Department/Office(s): ITS Information Security Office
  4. Revision History: Not applicable/New
  5. Related University Policies, Procedures, Manuals and/or Documents:
    1. CSU Information Security Policy
    2. CSU Data Classification Levels
    3. Cal Poly Information Security Program
    4. Risk Management Standard (to be written)
    5. Risk Management Procedures (to be written)
    6. CSU Information Security Policy – Supplier Relationships
  6. Laws, Regulations and/or Codes of practice referred to herein or related to this policy: