Encrypted Laptop & Desktop Computer Recommendations

The use of encrypted laptop and desktop computers, as well as encrypted phones and external hard drives, is mandated by the Harvard Enterprise Security Policy (HESP) and Research Data Security Policy (HRDSP). 

What Should Be Encrypted?

In accordance with university policies, everyone at Harvard is accountable for appropriately handling and encrypting confidential information stored on: 

  • "Any HGSE [Harvard Graduate School of Education]-owned or managed laptops, desktops, and mobile devices"
  • "Any laptops, desktops, or mobile devices used to store or access Harvard information (including Harvard email), regardless of who purchased the device"

Encrypted Laptop & Desktop - Recommended Tools  

For the encryption of laptop and desktop computers, HESP and HRDSP recommend 6 tools: 

Native Hardware Encryption

  • Table showing all recommended tools for encrypting laptops and desktops
    BitLocker (Windows 10 (Pro and Enterprise editions), 7 (Ultimate and Enterprise editions)) 
  • FileVault/FileVault 2 (macOS X and later) 

Third-Party Encryption Tools 

  • Jetico BestCrypt Volume Encryption (Windows, Mac OS X 10.9 and later) 
  • Sophos Safeguard (Windows, Mac OS X) 
  • Symantec Endpoint Encryption (Windows 10, 7 (Home)) 
  • Veracrypt (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) 

Compared to native encryption, BestCrypt Volume Encryption provides: 

  • A unified solution for Windows and Mac operating systems – ensuring consistent user experience and seamless access to encrypted volumes on both platforms. 
  • Proprietary independence from OS providers – using third-party encryption software gives you control of your own keys and ensures the privacy of your data stays in your hands.

Compared to third-party encryption tools: 

Contact us today to learn more about BestCrypt Volume Encryption, schedule a demo or request a quote. 

NOTE: The information provided in this article was retrieved from https://its.gse.harvard.edu/services/information-security/topics/encryption as of September 2023. We recommend visiting the Encryption page for the most up-to-date information, as the content may have been updated or changed since the time of this writing.

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