Encryption

Service Description

Encryption is a method of securing data by converting it into another form using a special key or password, therefore obscuring it. In order to read encrypted data, it must be decrypted using that key or password.

Encryption is best used on machines that can easily be lost or stolen, although there is no harm encrypting all of your systems.

At HMC, CIS recommends the use of Bitlocker (Windows) or Apple FileVault (Mac) to encrypt your entire operating system volume.

During the encryption setup process, you will be given a unique Recovery Key for your system. This key acts as a backup to access data on your hard drive in the event of a lost password or damaged computer. In those scenarios, you will not be able to recover your data without this key. Please save your key somewhere safe (i.e. not on your computer, but still secured and encrypted). CIS recommends Google Drive, which is encrypted on Google’s Servers, or any encrypted password manager.

Availability

Available to faculty, students and staff at HMC.

How to Access the Service

Configuration of these applications can vary system to system, but at its simplest:

Bitlocker Requires:

  • Windows 7/8 (Enterprise or Ultimate) or Windows 10 (Enterprise or Pro)
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) – special microchip in most newer Windows computers

FileVault Requires:

  • Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or Higher

The CIS Help Desk is available to assist all users with turning on encryption.

Instructions on how to do this yourself can be found of Microsoft’s and Apple’s website:

NOTE: Make sure to save your encryption recovery key somewhere safe (i.e. not on your computer, but still secured and encrypted). CIS recommends Google Drive, which is encrypted on Google’s Servers, or any encrypted password manager. 

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