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Data Management and Sharing: Security

Information for those who wish to know more about writing and implementing plans for data management and sharing


Security refers to three main areas:

  1. Data Integrity ensures data has not been manipulated in an unauthorized way. Data integrity techniques include
    • Encryption: Coding information that cannot be read/deciphered unless someone has the decoding key
    • Electronic signature: Coded message that is unique to both the document and the signer
    • Watermarking: Embeds a digital marker for authorship verification & can alert someone of alterations
  2. Access security involves restricting access to data. Access to sensitive data (e.g. geographic, administrative, or medical information about individuals) is often regulated by applicable laws.
  3. Systems security is the protection of hardware and software related or connected to research data. This includes updating anti-virus software, applications, and operating systems; utilizing a firewall and intrusion detection software; and controlling access to hardware (e.g. keeping doors to office/server room locked).

Everyone should keep their digital data safe from attack by computer malware.

If you work with sensitive data, you may need to comply with requirements and policies of the university, state, federal government, and granting agencies for keeping it private. Some of the following policies may be applicable:


Policy Description How to Comply
University of Nebraska-Lincoln University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, staff, and students are expected to use all computing resources responsibly and are expected to adhere to guidelines and policies as set forth by the university and laws and regulations  of federal, state and local government.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Computer Use Policies

Methods for:
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Laws protecting private student data and its access by parents, schools, and others Guidance from the Family Policy Compliance Office at the Department of Education
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Rules safeguarding the privacy of personal health information and  its access by health care providers and others Resources to assist University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers with HIPAA compliance


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