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Spirion Software

Learn about using Spirion for sensitive data remediation.

UC San Diego has selected Spirion software as one of the Sensitive Data Remediation (SDR) solutions available to campus.

Email the ITS Service Desk for Spirion for support with downloading and installing Spirion.

Scanning with Spirion

Business machines will be automatically scanned on a recurring basis. If your computer is off during a scheduled scan, the scan should automatically launch the next time the computer is on. 

The configuration settings in Spirion are designed to optimize scan speed. In most cases you should not notice a difference on your system when Spirion is running.

Settings, such as scan frequency, can be configured for each unit based on their business needs. Email the ITS Service Desk for help adjusting your settings.

Types of data

At UC San Diego, Sprion is configured to only search for:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and
  • Credit Card numbers

California privacy laws require that individuals whose information has been compromised as a result of a data breach be notified if the individual's name and above-mentioned identity types were compromised as a result of that breach.

Scanned locations

Spirion searches the desktop, email, web browsers, documents, user profiles and other areas where data is commonly stored.

Some areas are excluded from the search configuration to reduce false positives and improve scan speed. Additional exclusions can be configured for systems containing large data repositories and/or research data subject to regular modification if such storage areas/ files are known to no contain any reportable sensitive information.

Length of scan

It is normal for the first Spirion scan to take up to a few hours to complete.

The duration of the scan time is tied to the amount of data stored on the system and the speed of the computer. Systems with small amounts of data will complete faster than systems that store large data sets. The first scan will always be the longest. Subsequent scans will only search files that are new or have been modified since the initial scan.

Some areas of systems are specifically excluded from scans during configuration of the software to make the process more efficient. IT Security regularly reviews and revises the scanning configuration to improve scan speeds.

Improving performance

After the initial scan, Spirion will only scan new files or files modified since the previous scan. If your system contains research data modified on a regular basis, Spirion can be set up to exclude specific folders or data storage locations if these areas are known to not contain sensitive data.

If you experience long scan times or see large numbers of false positives, email the ITS Service Desk

Data remediation with Spirion

Once SSNs and/or credit card numbers are found by Spirion, a report will be generated and sent to the relevant user(s) for remediation. Should the file be found to be containing actual SSNs andor credit card numbers, the user(s) is/are expected to securely delete the information. First, by deleting the file and following up by emptying their recycle bin.  

Advanced Spirion users

For advanced Spirion users who scan their machines manually, Spirion will automatically present these users with options for remediation:

  • Shred – permanently erase the file
  • Scrub – mask only the sensitive data match found in the file
  • Ignore – tell Spirion that the result is not sensitive (false positive) and not to display the file or match in the results again.

If Spirion finds a match, but you are unable to scrub or shred it, it is likely because the file is marked as read-only as a result of being a false positive in a system or application folder. It may also be a file in a location that you do not have full access to.

If you are certain the match is not sensitive, use the ignore option to mark the file as a false positive. This prevents it from displaying again on future scans. If you are unsure whether the file contains sensitive data, consult your local IT staff.

Spirion provides more information about the remediation process. Additionally, IT Security can assist with questions and concerns regarding the scanning process.