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Assistance with improving the security of data and facilitating compliance by deploying encryption techniques.

In line with the University's Information Security policy, MSD IT Services offer assistance with improving the security of data and facilitating compliance by deploying encryption techniques.

Computer DISK Encryption

Where physical security is insufficient, for example in the case of a laptop where the risk of loss is greater, MSD IT Services can help you to encrypt your computer.  Please contact us for advice. The previously provided service, in conjunction with the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM), will be maintained for existing users.

What is is Encryption?

Encryption ensures that data cannot be accessed by unauthorised individuals. It essentially rewrites the whole of the computer's hard disk and encodes it to make it unreadable in case of computer loss, theft or unauthorised access attempt.

you still need backup

While encryption offers protection against data being seen by unauthorised people, it doesn't protect the data against corruption, accidental deletion or disk failures. The need to keep your data backed up is a separate issue and applies regardless of whether the computer hard disk is encrypted or not. Backup is your responsibility so if you are unsure about it please contact us for advice.

Do I need it – or does the user need it?

If there is confidential, personal or sensitive data stored on your computer, the first question you need to ask yourself is: “Does the data need to be there?” If not, the best thing to do is remove it. If your job requires you to store confidential or personal data on your computer, then good practice requires that the hard disk of that computer is encrypted. This is true for laptops, tablets, mobile device such as a USB stick or a mobile phone.

Most modern phones and tablets have a level of encryption built-in – it is just a case of configuring the device correctly and making sure you use a secure password or passphrase. More information on configuring mobile devices securely is provided in the Information Security pages provided by central IT Services.

For more information or to request encryption, please contact the MSD IT Service Desk or your local MSD IT Support Staff.

ENCrypted usb drives

Hardware encrypted USB flash drives are available for purchase from the MSD IT Services office at the JR Hospital (Room 3A25B - access via corridor at the back of the Cairns Library on Level 3).

A 4GB datAshur USB drive (FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified, PIN protected, onboard keypad, Win/Mac/Linux compatible) normally costs £36. 

Other capacity devices are available to order, please contact the MSD IT Service Desk for details.

At the time of writing (February 2018), in partnership with the University Information Security Governance, Risk and Compliance team, MSD IT Services is offering staff & postgraduate users a free hardware-encrypted USB drive in return for your unencrypted stick. 

Email MSD IT Services or call us on (2)-80030 to swap your unencrypted USB stick.