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Encryption Gets Personal

January 15, 2015

Angelo State University uses an encryption tool to protect both institutional and personal data. We work hard (and smart) to help keep your personal information just that – personal. 

Our data is out there

In the last F and A Report, we talked about some issues around mobile devices, but this time we want to focus in a method of protecting sensitive information called encryption.

Many of us store a lot of important information on our computers, tablets, and smartphones to include emails, official forms, photos and other sensitive information. Last time, we mentioned that mobile device theft is rampant and very profitable for the criminals. In addition, there have been a large number of electronic thefts of personal, professional, and corporate information in the news lately.

Encryption:  What is it?

A good overall security posture is a worthy goal and encryption is a good tool to help achieve that. Encryption lets you lock the files, photos, and information in such a way that only the person with the right information (user name and password) can access the unencrypted versions. There is some cool and interesting math involved, but the simple version is that the information is unreadable by anyone but the valid, authorized user.

How do we use it?

University owned Windows systems are encrypted using a product called SecureDoc. We have tested and used the product within IT and have been rolling it out to campus departments for a few months. We wanted to ensure that certain areas where sensitive data is used widely and routinely were encrypted first, but we are now in the process of encrypting all employee Windows computers across campus.  We are investigating options for Mac encryption as well. If we’ve already worked with you to encrypt your computers, thank you!  If we haven’t yet worked with you on this, we’ll be calling soon to schedule a time to get your computers encrypted and we appreciate your help in moving this forward. 

If you have any questions about encryption, SecureDoc, or any safe computing practices, please call or stop by. We are located in Rassman suite 120 and you can call us at any time M-F, 8-5 at 942-2333. Please ask for Jason Brake or Alan Meeks.