Information Security for Research

The University of Hawaii has a rich culture of collaboration, openness and sharing that allows for the free exchange of ideas and information. But that same culture of openness and sharing creates an environment that allows cyber criminals and other malicious actors to easily gain access to vulnerable computer and network resources, potentially exfiltrating research data, sensitive information and other types of intellectual property. Research data is a valuable commodity to others outside of the University's academic community and is often targeted for theft. Higher education institutions offer target-rich environments with minimal security providing opportunities for computers and networks to be breached.

Data owners must be aware of the cyber risks and understand that higher education institutions are constantly under cyber attack. Researchers and data owners must also implement sufficient security controls to protect their data in accordance to appropriate security policies and regulations.

Additionally, many research projects are governed by federal, state, local and other regulations and requirements which are generally defined in the terms of the contract and/or grant.

Federal Regulations


Special Considerations for Sensitive Information & Human Subjects

Research-generated data is proprietary, intellectual property and should be protected appropriately. Each researcher should consider the following questions:

  • Does my study/research project fall under the purview of the Institutional Review Board?
    UH Institutional Review Board

  • Am I using institutional data (data from an institutional information system such as ODS, Banner, Star)?
    UH Data Governance Policy

  • Does my study/research project use Human Subjects?
    About UH Human Studies Program and UH IRB

  • Does my study collect/use any of the following types of data:
    Social Security Number, student education records, health-related information, other regulated information?

    If yes, please see:


University of Hawaii Policies


Hawaii Revised Statutes


External Policies for Reference


Related External Resources