Q. What is disk encryption?
Encryption “encodes” the data on the hard drive and creates a “key” to decode the data. In case of theft or loss, the data on the drive is useless to a would-be thief because they would not know the key to unlock the drive. Whole disk encryption encrypts the entire boot drive including empty space.
Q. Why are we encrypting computers?
Put simply, data security. With encryption, hard drives that could have HIPAA data/intellectual property/research data are protected from theft. Loss of this type of data represents a substantial risk to UNMC and its partners, both professionally and financially. To mitigate this risk UNMC has decided to use whole disk encryption.
Q. How will encryption impact my computer?
Once encrypted, the impact will be slight. Depending on what type of encryption is used your log-in screen and process might change.
Q. What if the hard drive crashes?
If the hard drive becomes corrupted or the drive begins to fail, data recovery may be difficult. This makes having a copy of your important data on the server more important.
Q. What are we using to encrypt disks?
Currently there are two methods for encryption. One is to use Microsoft BitLocker which requires Windows 7 enterprise or ultimate edition and a TPM chip. The other method is PGP which can work on non-TPM equipped computers and Mac computers. All Mobile devices will use PGP. Our ultimate goal is to have as many PCs on campus using BitLocker as possible.
Q. What is a TPM chip?
TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module and is a physical chip that is part of the computer main board. This chip works together with certain encryption software to store keys and unlock disks. Currently we are trying to ensure that all new computers are quoted with this chip to support this type of encryption.
Q. How will the encryption happen?
Desktop support technicians will be visiting and/or remote controlling computers to start the encryption process on machines currently in use. All new computers will be encrypted prior to being put in place. As always if you have issues, please contact your PC support professional or the Helpdesk at 402-559-7700.
Q. I have a Mac running Bootcamp. Can I still encrypt?
Q. I am running the Mac Lion operating system. How should I encrypt the hard drive?
PGP was certified to run on the Mac Snow Leopard Operating System (10.6). However, it has not been certified for the Lion operating system.
NOTE: Significant problems have been encountered if you try to upgrade from Snow Leopord (10.6) to Lion (10.7) if you have a PGP encrypted hard drive.
Recommendation is to defer installation of Lion until the PGP product has been certified. If you MUST upgrade to Lion, please contact the Help Desk for specific instructions.
last updated 10/11/2011 by kks
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