If a university-owned computer is lost or stolen, and if that computer is storing legally protected sensitive data (social security numbers, credit card information, grades, transcripts, etc.), the university may be held liable for this loss. To combat this situation, CaTS is now installing a software program called CheckPoint Full Disk Encryption on new university-owned laptops. This software stores data in an unreadable format unless the proper credentials are provided. By using this software, the university can track which computers have been encrypted and can help avoid potential legal and financial risk. CheckPoint Full Disk Encryption will be licensed when you purchase a new laptop from Pomeroy starting 10/1/11. Because of the network resources required, the software will be installed by CaTS Desktop Services. Read the FAQ below for more info on this software.

If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S. with your laptop, CaTS recommends that you view the Travel Restrictions on Encryption Software PDF document. It contains important information about which countries have restrictions regarding encrypted information on your laptop.


General Questions

Why Encryption is Needed
If a university-owned computer is lost or stolen, it may come into question if it may have had important information stored on the hard drive. If there is a possibility that legally-protected data such as credit card or social security numbers, grades, transcripts, etc, were on the computer, the university may be held liable for this loss. The loss of important research data can also negatively impact the university.

Encryption software protects the data on the hard drive by storing it in an unreadable form unless the proper decoder key is provided. By using an enterprise-class encryption product, the university can track which computers have been encrypted and can avoid potential legal and financial risk.

Built-in Encryption
The Mac OS and some versions of Windows have optional encryption software. While Mac FileVault does offer encryption, it lacks central management and reporting features. The management console also allows us to assist users if they forget their password.

If a Mac were lost or stolen there would be no easy legal way for us to prove it was encrypted at that time. Additionally, FileVault (and BitLocker on Windows) can introduce compatibility issues. Our tests indicate that the CheckPoint product offers better functionality and has less impact on system performance after the initial encryption process is complete.

The CheckPoint Full Disk Encryption product will be licensed when you purchase a new laptop from Pomeroy starting 10/1/11. However, because it requires certain network resources, it will be installed once the system is initially set up by CaTS Desktop Services. If your department does not use CaTS to set up the laptop, you'll need to arrange with the Help Desk for installation.

If you purchase a system other than the recommended HPs from Pomeroy, you'll need to arrange for the purchase and installation of CheckPoint FDE from CaTS. This includes all Mac laptops purchased starting October 1st.

Existing Laptops
The first phase of the rollout is focusing on newly purchased laptops. CaTS will also be working with targeted areas that regularly access known protected data. In these areas we will work with departments to identify existing laptops and potentially desktops that will need the encryption software. Over time, it is our goal to have all laptops configured with the encryption software and to identify key desktops that will require the additional protection that encryption offers.

Additional Resources
CaTS maintains information about IT security on our website, http://www.wright.edu/cats/security/. You can learn more about how to protect your computer, common hacking methods and what types of information are considered protected.

Everyone is encouraged to watch the short 4-minute Do IT Wright security video available on the CaTS Security website. If you have specific questions about the new drive encryption program, please send an email to helpdesk@wright.edu with the subject "encryption" and someone will get back with you to discuss the matter in more detail.


Usage Instructions

Syncing Your Windows Password with Full Disk Encryption Software (PDF)


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