Protecting SLU's Data

Protecting SLU's data is everyone's responsibility. When sharing data for business reasons, we can use encryption as one method to help ensure the confidentiality of our sensitive data is maintained. Additional information and guidelines for encryption are detailed below.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is a method of encoding information from a plain text format into unreadable text. Guidance for the following methods is provided:

Full Disk Encryption of your computer
Document Encryption
External Drive Encryption Tools

Please contact us if there are additional types of encryption needed in your area.

Symantec Drive Encryption (SDE) - This is a tool that will encrypt the hard drive of your computer. It is recommended that you subscribe to this full disk encryption program if:

  • You handle sensitive data
  • You regularly travel with your laptop
  • You have a security requirement for encryption

Document Encryption - Encrypting documents for storage (locally or on removable devices) or transmit (in email) adds a layer of protection to your sensitive information. Once you encrypt your documents using one of the methods listed below, the document cannot be opened by anyone without the password.

ITS cannot help you recover passwords for documents you encrypt, so follow these guidelines before you encrypt:

  • Have a backup of the document - If you lose the password it is not recoverable so the information will be lost
  • Store you passwords in a safe place - Each document will require a password so this could amount to managing many passwords. Using a password manager tool such as password safe is recommended.
  • Communicate the password for the document wisely - Sending the password in the same email as the encrypted document is not a good practice.

If you have Symantec Drive Encryption (full disk encryption), you can use Symantec PGP Zip that is included with that SDE license. However, this type of file cannot be emailed in our current mail system, so you will need to use Send This File (available via mySLU/Tools)

If you do not have SDE, there are some additional options for document encryption:

External Drive Encryption Tools - There are many other options in terms of tools you can use. You can purchase an encrypted external hard drive or thumbdrive any place that sells computer supplies. 256-bit AES encryption is recommended for meeting most compliance standards.

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