University of Maryland School of Medicine

How UM SOM Identifies, Classifies, and Secures Sensitive Data 


The Customer

Location: Baltimore, MD

Industry: Education

Products: DatAdvantage for Windows, Data Classification Framework

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) was chartered in 1807 and is the fifth oldest medical school in the United States.

Before Varonis, we really didn’t have any way of knowing where sensitive data was located or what type of sensitive data we had in our network. Through the Varonis Data Classification module, we are now easily able to see exactly what kind of data we have, and it has been very eye-opening….What we didn’t realize before implementing Varonis was just how much of that data we actually had stored in random locations.

Scott Stefan, Executive Director of Information Services, UM SOM

Business Requirements

Little Insight into the Location of, and Permissions Surrounding Sensitive Data: The University of Maryland School of Medicine needed better visibility into the different types of sensitive data that its employees and students were storing across their file systems. Regulatory requirements necessitated that the school’s IT department regularly audit and report on who was accessing sensitive data, when and where, but they had no way of doing so efficiently.

The Solution

Varonis DatAdvantage and Data Classification Framework

With Varonis and its DatAdvantage and Data Classification Framework solutions, The University of Maryland’s School of Medicine’s IT team can now easily see exactly what types of sensitive data they have, where it lives, and who has access to it all from one easy-to-use interface.

Results

Detailed, Fast & Crucial Insight into Sensitive Company Data

In just a few days after implementing Varonis, Stefan and his team were receiving audit reports from the software that opened their eyes to the location and vulnerability of sensitive data in a way that they could never have accomplished manually.

According to Stefan, “Before Varonis, we really didn’t have any way of knowing where sensitive data was located or what type of sensitive data we had in our network. Through the Varonis Data Classification module, we are now easily able to see exactly what kind of data we have, and it has been very eye-opening. In addition to protected health information (PHI) we naturally have sensitive information of other types that everybody else has too, such as social security numbers and credit card information. But what we didn’t realize before implementing Varonis was just how much of that data we actually had stored in random locations.”

Possibility to Maintain Data Security & Transparency in the Cloud

The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s IT team had been tasked with moving a percentage of their data to the cloud, but management was uneasy at best at the loss of control associated with moving data, particularly the huge amount of PHI and clinical data that they have as a medical school. Specifically, all email UM SOM data will be moved to Microsoft Office 365 in the next few months, in addition to some file data.

Already having Varonis DatAdvantage played a crucial role in getting everyone at the school more comfortable with the migration of this data to the cloud, because Varonis’ compatibility with Microsoft Office 365 allows for the same DatAdvantage capabilities, such as reporting on access and being able to classify data, in the cloud.

“Because of the type of data we store as a medical school, moving to the cloud is scary for a lot of folks,” said Stefan. “Having a product like Varonis that can give us the same type of reporting on when people access files and who accessed them and where, makes having to move some of our data to Office 365 a lot easier for us to sell to all levels of the organization.”