Information Security

Information Security

The University is committed to ensuring its’ information is always managed securely and in accordance with the best practice requirements of the NSW Standard on records management. The standard requires that the University’s records are protected from unauthorised or unlawful access, destruction, loss, deletion or alteration.

The University’s Data Classification Standard provides the framework for the protection of University information based on its’ sensitivity as defined by type, importance and usage. This framework is further informed by both the Record Security Guideline and the Data Handling Guidelines.

 

RAMS Data Classification

When capturing records to the University’s recordkeeping system RAMS, the information being captured can be mapped to one of the UNSW Data classification levels: Unclassified, Private, Sensitive and Highly Sensitive; to define its sensitivity and to enable controls appropriate to the level of sensitivity to be put in place.

These controls are applied in RAMS through the use of pre-defined Access Groups, an opt-in method of specifying access rights to electronic records captured within the system. Access Groups provide the primary means by which to control access to University records in RAMS.

This process of data classification should be an inherent part of the capture of records, whenever creating a new records container, or when records of a higher sensitivity are to be captured to a container, or evidence of a new business activity is required to be captured.

Record Classification

This table maps the University’s Data classifications against the required controls in RAMS, whether transmission of this information by email is appropriate and how frequently the security controls of this information should be reviewed. More information on these Data Classifications is available here

Data Classification

Examples

RAMS Access Control required?

Example RAMS Access Controls

Is Email transmission permitted?

Review period

Unclassified

  • Published research data
  • Course catalogues
  • Faculty and staff directory 
    information

Optional, required for business purposes only.

For published research data information

View Document:<Unrestricted>
View Metadata:<Unrestricted>

Yes

Not required

Private

  • Business unit procedure
  • Unpublished intellectual property

Optional, required for business purposes only.

 

For business unit procedures

View Document:<Division or subgroup>
View Metadata:<Division or subgroup>

 

Yes

Every 2 years

Sensitive

  • UNSW Financial data
  • Exam results
  • Student and Staff information

 

Mandatory.

Access Control must be applied to restrict all Units/Departments that require access to this information.

 

UNSW financial data

View Document:<Division or subgroup>
View Metadata:<Division or subgroup>

No

Every 1 year

Highly Sensitive

  • Medical
  • Children and young persons
  • Credit Card

Mandatory.

Access Control must be applied to restrict only those positions and/or business unit(s) that require access to this information.

 

 Medical data or credit card

View Document:<Special Access Group or individual positions>
View Metadata:<Special Access Group or individual positions>

No

Every 6 months

Personal Information

Personal information is defined as, “Information or an opinion about an individual whose identity is apparent or can be reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion”.

Special consideration needs to be given to the management of personal information contained in records being captured and managed using the University’s business systems. This information will frequently be classified as Sensitive, sometimes Highly Sensitive, and should always be destroyed as soon as it is appropriate to do so. Capture and correct classification within RAMS ensures this is managed at a system level. 

The following table can be used to guide an initial classification of commonly found types of personal information:

Data Type

Description

Preliminary Classification

Student data

Personally identifying information about students, including items such as Tax File Number (TFN), and contact information, courses and programs.

Sensitive

Staff data

 Personally identifying information about staff, including items such as Tax File Number (TFN), contact information, and bank account details.

Sensitive

Patient data

 Personally identifying information about patients, any medical treatments and results.

Highly sensitive

Legacy RAMS Security Controls

For reference, the hardcopy security controls used in RAMS (previously known as ‘TRIM’) were:

Security Levels provided the primary method for restricting access to hardcopy University records. Any document has an inherent level of security based on its content. Any container would inherit the security level of its most restricted content, as would all other records within the same container.

To view records of a certain security level, a staff member is required to have the same, or a higher level of security applied to their profile.

Security Levels

Security Level

Scope Notes

UNSW Data Classification Standard equivalent

Restricted

The Restricted classification is for those records documenting staff grievances, privacy issues, FOI requests and legal advice. Information which could:

  • Compromise Legal professional privilege.
  • Breach staff confidentiality in the complaint resolution procedure.
  • Compromise information provided under Freedom of Information requests. 
Private

Protected

 The Protected classification is for those records that relate to Audit requirements. Information which could:

  • Substantially undermine the financial viability of UNSW.
  • Facilitate the commission of serious crime.
  • Seriously impede the development or operation of UNSW and major Government policies. 

Sensitive

Highly Protected

 The Highly Protected classification is for those records that relate to the governance of the University, industrial relations matters, controlled entities and commercial research ventures and highly sensitive commercial business documents or contracts. Information which could:

  • Threaten life directly
  • Seriously prejudice public order
  • Substantially damage the University or state or national finances or economic and commercial interest. 

 Highly Sensitive

Security Caveats provided a secondary means for the restriction of hardcopy records. The Security Caveats that may be applied to hardcopy records can be seen below. They enable a container to be restricted to a specific subset of staff based on role, such as limiting access to Human Resources (HR) records to HR staff only.

Their primary use at UNSW is for the control of access to hardcopy legal, personnel and student records.

A security caveat may be applied with a Security Level, and a user seeking access to the record would be required to meet both sets of criteria (Security Level, Security Caveat) to locate and to view the container.

All staff members receive automated access to relevant Security Levels and Caveats based on their position. Any staff member wishing to confirm their access may contact records@unsw.edu.au for further information.

Security Caveat

Acronym

Scope Notes

 Commercial-in-Confidence

CIC

For hardcopy commercially sensitive records only

 Governance-in-Confidence

GIC

For hardcopy records of UNSW Council, Academic Board and associated Committees only

 Legal-in-Confidence

LIC

For hardcopy Legal Files only

 Personnel-in-Confidence

PIC

For hardcopy Personnel files only

 Security-in-Confidence

SIC

For hardcopy security-related files only

 Student-in-Confidence

STIC

For hardcopy Student files only