Encryption is the transformation of data into a form unreadable by anyone without the secret decryption key. Its purpose is to ensure confidentiality and privacy by keeping the information hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended. For example, one may wish to encrypt files on a hard drive to prevent an intruder from reading them. When an entire hard disk is encrypted, that data is protected if the computer is lost or stolen. Encryption can also be used to protect sensitive files that are sent through email or sensitive communications sent over the network. 

The use of encryption is particularly important when dealing with Level 1 and Level 2 protected data.

Who's it for?

System Configuration

Individual encryption programs have differing system requirements. Please consult the appropriate ITS web pages for more detailed information; HSU-supported encryption programs are described here.

Additional Information

Strong encryption is the term we use to describe the minimum strength of encryption appropriate for use with Level 1 protected data. Strong encryption is 256-bit encryption and complies with ICSUAM Policy Information Security Asset Management Section 8065Information Security Asset Management, Standard 8065.S0.

There is one important thing to remember about any encryption process: it is either extremely difficult or completely impossible to decrypt encrypted data if the password is lost.