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Kansas State University

Whole Disk Encryption at K-State

Laptops are now the computer of choice for many, but with their advantages also come risks, especially theft or loss. A study published in 2008 estimated that over 16,000 laptops are lost or stolen in airports in the U.S. and Europe each week. This should emphasize the need for appropriate security for your portable devices, especially those containing sensitive data.

An effective way of protecting the data on your laptop is to encrypt everything on the hard drive through a process called "whole disk encryption." This encrypts all the data on your hard drive so that only the person with the correct password can unlock and view it.

Due to K-State's dedication to protecting confidential data, K-State's data classification and security policy requires whole disk encryption for any computer that contains confidential data.

K-State’s SIRT evaluated whole disk encryption technologies during 2008 and selected PGP Whole Disk Encryption (now Symantec Drive Encryption) as the standard product for encrypting K-State laptops and desktops. Over 1,000 licenses were purchased in December 2008 at a discounted price on behalf of campus departments. Anyone needing additional licenses will have to purchase them from SHI at normal educational prices.

To find out if you need to have whole disk encryption on your computer, you will need to contact your installation contact. They will be able to provide you with instructions to ensure that you install the software correctly. You may have to make an appointment with the central IT support to have it installed.

 

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