Did you know that controlled unclassified information (CUI) falls into 125 categories? With so much data now falling within the purview of CUI, your company must understand which data to secure. However, what is CUI data precisely? Continue reading to learn more about this kind of data, identify when you utilize it in your organization, and how to safeguard it. 

What Is CUI Data? 

The data under controlled unclassified information or CUI has the utmost requirement for its protection since it consists of information that is so sensitive and can only be disseminated with all laws and regulations in place; however, don’t fall in Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information.” 

CUI is a component of a government effort that aims to secure and standardize this kind of data. CUI delivers more effective and unified policies than the previous For Official Use Only (FOUO) schemes. A document that was previously marked as “Proprietary” or “For Official Use Only” now requires the CUI label.  

What are Examples of CUI Data?

CUI Data types that need strict protection under governmental policies, rules, and regulations come in the CUI Registry. Numerous subsets of information need to be secured but fall outside the 125 categories of data that fall under the CUI designation. 

Several instances include:

  • Information used to identify a specific individual is personally identifiable or PII.  
  • Sensitive, personally identifiable information (SPII) is data that, if revealed without consent, might seriously hurt or humiliate the subject.  
  • Data with military or space use is called unclassified controlled technical information (UCTI). 
  • Information that does not fit the National Security classification criteria is considered sensitive but unclassified (SBU). 
  • Data that, if shared without authorization, might affect legal processes known as Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES). 

There are several other types of CUIS, and you may anticipate that everything from intellectual property to medical records, technical drawings and blueprints will be considered CUI data. 

Identifying CUI Data Types 

You should be concerned about CUI data if you work in IT or are any form of government contractor. The Department of Defense will typically categorize data as CTI or CDI, as appropriate. However, there are times when the contractor produces this sort of data as they finish a project. So how do you recognize it?  

Let’s examine some of the warning signs. 


When the websites are linked with a US government contract or supplying a federal contract, there is a rigid requirement to protect the data connected with these websites. 

Identified Information  

CUI, or labelled information, is non-classified data with agency or legacy classifications. Some data will already have a CUI label or be simple to recognize. You can anticipate CUI data if the term “Export Control” is present. This term comprises information that requires monitoring, such as Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). 

Defense Initiatives  

CUI data types covers many defenses in Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFAR). Projects involving the manufacture of aircraft products are considered CUI if they contain noncommercial and technical information. Engineering and research data might be referred to as technical information. Engineering plans, technical orders, process sheets, manuals, databases, research, and much more can also be included. You require the CUI label for defense projects containing technical data about military or space use. 

Non-Defense Projects 

Whether there is CUI data in a non-defense federal project depends on the specifics of the project and the contract. Federal contract information, CUI, is information that the government wants to keep private and that has been created for the government or provided during a contract. 

Protecting CUI Data 

Government regulations and procedures are available to assist you in safeguarding CUI data. The data must be physically protected using key card access or other locks of the exact nature. Labelling and safeguarding the data and its backups are necessary when not in use.  

Additionally, the data need security at the network layer. Routers, switches, and firewalls must all protect against unwanted access. OSI layers two through four are required; session restrictions must also be set up. The data owner must completely control the authentication and authorization processes used to secure the data. Infrastructure safeguards can also protect CUI data. They might be real servers, storage area networks, virtual computers, or backups. 

While security is challenged, it necessitates a risk assessment, and network scans should be conducted regularly. Even when updating the system’s configuration linked with the CUI is required, the process will be carried out with the help of a documented review and approval. 


If you work with CUI data types and need the best security, hiring the best cybersecurity services is advised. With any esteemed organization, you will receive secured and reliable database systems, ensuring even the most sensitive data is safe. Be secure with your CUI!