‘Which of the following is not an example of CUI?’ This is a common question in cyber awareness programs or any exam related to cyber security. If you have ever come across this question, too, you might be wondering what CUI is in the first place.

Well, CUI stands for Controlled Unclassified Information, and it’s often used as an umbrella term for certain types of information which have a controlled level of dissemination. Although this information isn’t totally regarded as classified, there are laws and regulations that must be followed before disseminating them for public consumption.

So, in this article, we will try to go over the question, ‘Which of the following is not an example of CUI?’ and help you get an answer to it. We will also take things a step further by letting you know what other examples of CUI exists and why. So, keep reading!

Which of the Following Is Not an Example of CUI?

  1.  Personal information
  2.  Privacy information
  3. Press release

From the option following the question, the right answer here is C. Press release.  Both personal information and privacy information can be classified as CUI, as they require protection from unauthorized access or disclosure due to their sensitive nature.

Press releases, on the other hand, are publicly available information and do not typically contain sensitive or confidential information that requires safeguarding. Therefore, they are not considered an example of CUI.

Now that we have answered the question, ‘Which of the following is not an example of CUI?’ let’s dive deeper into the subject of CUIs so you can have a comprehensive knowledge of the subject.

Again, What is CUI?

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) refers to information that is sensitive but not classified. This information requires safeguarding or dissemination controls that are consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and government-wide policies.

The protection of CUI is important as it helps prevent unauthorized access and disclosure of sensitive information that could cause harm to individuals or organizations. It also helps maintain public trust and confidence in the government, businesses, and other entities that collect and handle sensitive information.

There are laws and regulations that mandate the protection of CUI, and organizations that handle this type of information must take steps to safeguard it appropriately. Failure to do so can result in legal penalties, loss of public trust, and reputational damage.

Who Established CUI and What is the Purpose of Its Establishment?

The concept of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) was established by Executive Order 13556, which was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. The purpose of the order was to establish a uniform system for managing sensitive but unclassified information across the federal government.

The order recognized that there are many types of sensitive information that do not meet the criteria for classification under the National Security Information system but still require protection.

These types of information were previously referred to as “Sensitive But Unclassified” or “For Official Use Only,” but the lack of a uniform approach made it difficult to manage and protect this information effectively.

To address this issue, Executive Order 13556 established a standard for managing CUI across all federal agencies. The order directed the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to develop a framework for managing CUI that includes guidelines for safeguarding and sharing the information.

NARA’s CUI program provides guidance to federal agencies on how to identify and handle CUI, including how to mark and handle CUI documents, how to train employees on safeguarding CUI, and how to develop appropriate security controls to protect CUI from unauthorized access and disclosure.

What Are the Different Types of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)?

Remember the post started by answering the question, ‘Which of the following is not an example of CUI?’ That means it is not enough to know what CUIs are; you should also know some types of examples that are. Let’s use this section to discuss that.

Personal Information

This category includes information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual. Examples of personal information include Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, and home addresses.

Personal information can be used to commit identity theft or other types of fraud, making it important to protect it from unauthorized access or disclosure. Proper safeguarding measures include encryption, password protection, and access controls.

Privacy Act Information

This type of information is covered by the Privacy Act of 1974, which regulates how federal agencies collect, maintain, and use personal information.

Examples of Privacy Act information include personnel records, medical records, and any other records that contain personal information about individuals. Privacy Act information must be handled in accordance with the regulations set forth in the act.

Financial Information

This category includes information related to an individual’s finances, such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and investment information. Financial information is often targeted by cybercriminals for the purpose of identity theft or fraud.

Health Information

This is another type of CUI you should know about. Health information is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and includes medical records, insurance information, and any other health-related information that can be used to identify an individual.

Research Data

This category includes scientific and other technical data that is generated during research projects. Research data can be highly sensitive, and organizations must take steps to protect it from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Law Enforcement Information

This category of information includes information related to criminal investigations, national security, and other law enforcement-related activities. Law enforcement information is often highly sensitive, and unauthorized disclosure can have serious consequences.

Organizations that handle law enforcement information must comply with regulations and guidelines set forth by the government, which include access controls, encryption, and training for employees.

Intellectual Property

This category of CUI refers to such information related to patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. Intellectual property is often highly valuable, and so it is not the type of information that is available to everyone. So it is classified under CUI.

Consequences of Mishandling CUI

Mishandling CUI can result in serious consequences for individuals and organizations. If you come across any of the CUI categories mentioned above, you need to be careful with their handling because there are consequences for inappropriate handling. So, let’s look at some of the potential consequences you can possibly face with CUI mishandling.

  • Legal Penalties: Organizations that mishandle CUI can face legal penalties, including fines and legal action. Individuals who mishandle CUI can face criminal charges and possible imprisonment.
  • Reputational Damage: Mishandling CUI can damage an organization’s reputation, leading to a loss of trust and potential loss of business. This can have long-term effects on an organization’s success and growth.
  • Loss of Confidentiality: Mishandling information classified as CUI can result in the loss of confidentiality, potentially exposing sensitive information to unauthorized individuals or organizations. This can lead to data breaches, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime.
  • Financial Loss: Mishandling any information under this category can result in financial loss for individuals and organizations. This can include loss of revenue or legal fees associated with remediation efforts to address the impact of the breach.
  •  Regulatory Sanctions: one of the consequences of mishandling CUI is also regulatory sanctions, including fines and restrictions on business activities. This can impact an organization’s ability to operate and may require significant time and resources to address.
  •  Damage to National Security: Mishandling CUI related to national security can have serious consequences for the safety and security of individuals and the nation as a whole. It can bring about significant national security risks and may result in legal or criminal charges for those involved.

Examples of CUI Breaches

CUI breaches can occur in a variety of settings, from government agencies to private organizations. There have been some major breaches in the past. And knowing about these examples can be a great way to further arm yourself concerning this subject.

Here are some examples of CUI breaches that have occurred in recent years:

OPM Data Breach in 2015

In 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suffered a data breach that exposed sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers and security clearance details of over 21 million individuals.

This breach was one of the largest CUI breaches in U.S. history and had far-reaching consequences for individuals and national security.

Equifax Data Breach in 2017

In 2017, Equifax, a credit reporting agency, also suffered a data breach which led to the exposure of the personal information of more than 143 million individuals.

This breach was also a major one in the history of CUI breaches and left a toll on the credit scores and financial well-being of many individuals.

Marriott Data Breach in 2018

Marriott International also suffered a data breach in 2018, which exposed the personal information of over 500 million customers. This breach included sensitive personal information, such as passport numbers and credit card details, and had a great consequence on the lives of many people.

SolarWinds Cyberattack in 2020

There was a cyberattack on SolarWinds, a software provider, in 2020. The breach resulted in the compromise of CUI from multiple U.S. government agencies and private organizations. It was a threat to national security, and it underscored the importance of protecting CUI from cyber threats.

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal in 2018

In 2018, it was also revealed that Facebook had allowed Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, to access the personal information of millions of Facebook users without their consent.

This breach released sensitive personal information and left a great toll on the privacy of many individuals and the reputation of Facebook itself.

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