Information Security

Information Technology systems are essential to the efficient and effective operation of the North Dakota University System. As such, CTS has a responsibility to safeguard information created, collected, or distributed within its environment and protect it from unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction. The degree of data and system protection is based on the nature of the information and its intended use.


To apply appropriate security safeguards, the NDUS Information Security Strategic Plan involves a multilayered approach.


Governance administers and manages the information security environment for the NDUS. The group that provides this oversite is the NDUS Information Security Council (ISC).


The foundation of the NDUS information security strategy is based on NDUS policies (1200 series), NDUS procedures, and NDUS Information Security Standards.


The Information Security Department (InfoSec), in collaboration with the NDUS Information Security Council (ISC), has identified 10 strategic initiatives aimed at protecting CTS systems and data from known cyberattack vectors. These initiatives aligned with the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) 18 Critical Security Controls (CSC), which are a set of actions for cyber defense that provide specific and actionable ways to thwart the most pervasive attacks. InfoSec also utilizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (NCF) as the foundation for much of its security planning efforts.

Data Loss Prevention

Avoiding loss of data is paramount to security. CTS has deployed technologies to scan endpoints and network systems for restricted and private information. This will allow CTS and campuses to reduce their sensitive data footprint, control access to this data, and minimize the risk of a breach. In addition, InfoSec manages other data loss controls in systems where sensitive information might be exposed, such as email and cloud services.


Endpoint Security

InfoSec has worked with CTS and Institutions to implement endpoint protection, detection, and response (EDR) capabilities for all NDUS Institutions on over 15,000 systems and servers.


Vulnerability Management

NDUS currently scans over 10,000 systems across CTS and NDUS Institutions to help mitigate threats and reduce the attack surface to systems, services, and applications. Additionally, InfoSec has worked with CTS departments to conduct more detailed and accurate credentialed scans in the NDUS datacenter, as well as configure and conduct policy scans to assess compliance with the CIS security benchmarks.


Centralized Logging

InfoSec and a CTS functional team have worked to implement a centralized logging system to assist in identifying security risks and conducting incident response for CTS systems and applications.


Identity and Access Management

The InfoSec team, in coordination with CTS and NDUS institutions, continues to expand our multi-factor authentication (MFA) system to protect more applications from the risk of stolen credentials. Currently, MFA protects hundreds of critical business applications across the NDUS.


Security Awareness

Helping faculty, staff, and students understand security risks, as well as how to protect themselves, NDUS data, and resources is a key to improving the overall security posture of the NDUS. InfoSec has worked with CTS and all NDUS institutions to procure and deploy a security awareness and phishing assessment platform to expand security awareness activities as well as explore security skills training for CTS and institution IT employees.


Security Operations

The NDUS Security Operations Center (SOC) helps all NDUS institutions detect and respond to security alerts and incidents on our networks, servers, endpoints, and cloud environments.