Spirion - FAQ

Last Updated: 01/10/2018

General FAQ

What is Spirion (formerly Identity Finder), how does it work, and what items are scanned?

Identity Finder is software that helps prevent identity theft by discovering Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and sensitive data on computers, such as credit card or social security numbers, enabling users to take action to properly protect the information.

For more detail on how it works and what is scanned please the Sprion Overview page for more information.

Who can download and use the Spirion (formerly Identity Finder) client?

At this time, the service is for CU Boulder campus faculty (including teaching assistants and Emeritus faculty) and staff (including student employees).

Does Spirion replace Identity Finder, Spider and SENF?

Yes. Spirion (formerly Identity Finder) replaces both spider and SENF for Windows and Mac based PC's, in most cases. There is no Identity Finder client for Linux. The IT Security Office recommends and supports the SENF tool for Linux based systems.

How do I install and use Spirion?

Visit Spirion's Support portal for help using either Windows or Macintosh versions of the software.

How do I install the Spirion software?

No. You should go to the CU Services webpage, which provides customized enterprise installers for both Windows and Mac:

Am I responsible for the private/personal information stored on my computer?

Yes. There is a systemwide policy regarding security of private data. Please review IT Security in University Operations, Continuity, and Contracting .

Additional guidelines are available at:

Who does Spirion report to about unsecured data that it finds?

Spirion reports its findings to the computer user for awareness and quick remediation. Spirion also reports the networking address and whether or not unsecured data was found to a server maintained by the IT Security Office. It does not report any private data. View sample report below.

Visual related to sample report

Why does Spirion report to the IT Security Office?

The IT Security Office works with you to protect private information and to investigate potential breaches in the event that your computer is compromised or stolen. For instance, if your laptop is stolen along with your proof (the reports) ensuring all private data is secure, the IT Security Office would be able to look at the log file and attest that no private information was compromised.

The IT Security Office aggregates logs to help campus and departmental leadership understand how many systems maintain private data within their area. The IT Security Office will also use Spirion logs when working with departments to ensure that web Internet-accessible servers do not store private information.

Do I have to allow Identity Finder to report to the IT Security Office?

No. You have the option to disable the report; instructions for disabling the report are available for both Mac and Windows. The IT Security Office encourages that you do not disable these reports and participate in a larger effort to mitigate potential gaps in data security on campus.

Will the IT Security Office be able to access any sensitive information on my system?

No, The IT Security Office will only have access to the reports stating what type of private data was discovered and how many instances.

What should I do if Spirion locates private data on my computer?

See the Private data quick reference guide.

  1. Remove the entire document using the Shred feature.
  2. If you need the document/database, etc., that contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII), you can redact the PII using the Scrub feature in Identity Finder.
  3. If you have a valid business need for the PII, you must contact the security office to coordinate the best approach to securing your PII.

When in doubt about what to do contact the IT Security Office (ITSO) at security@colorado.edu. The general rule is if you don’t need it Shred IT!

Will my computer’s performance be affected?

When the software is performing a scan of the system, it is likely that your computer will perform slower, depending on the machine and amount of data to be scanned. The setting for how much of an impact a scan is on performance can be adjusted; however, the scan will take longer to complete. You can still work on your computer during a scan.