Saint Louis University is implementing full disk encryption across campus, as announced in Newslink on November 13, 2014. The software, Symantec Drive Encryption (also known as PGP) is being pushed to computers with assistance from department IT staff.
This project is a result of the University senior leadership and HIPAA Task Force’s recommendation that all Windows 7 laptop computer hard drives be encrypted as a general practice. The project targets not only for Windows 7 laptop computers that deal with sensitive data but also any Windows 7 laptop that is connected to the SLU network. It is important to encrypt all Windows 7 laptops as many of them may be used to access sensitive data, and to secure any information that is stored on the hard drive.
Encryption provides a level of protection for patient, staff and student information. It also shields the University from costly reporting requirements and fines that can result when laptops suspected of containing sensitive information are lost or stolen. Without knowledge of your SLU Net ID and password, it is impossible for any unauthorized user to access any of the data on the entire disk drive, even if the drive is removed from the computer. Drive encryption can also be used on flash drives and other media that are used to store or transport confidential information.