Credant Endpoint Encryption for Mac Laptops FAQs

What is Credant Endpoint Encryption?

Credant Endpoint Encryption is a tool that provides Full-Disk Encryption (FDE) on Apple Mac computers.

Why is it required for me to encrypt my computer?

Full disk encryption is an important step in protecting confidential information and has now been mandated by Harvard University. Full disk encryption prevents unauthorized access to any data stored on your hard drive, even if the hard drive is removed and slaved to another computer.

For more information on the University’s enterprise security policies, please visit: http://www.security.harvard.edu/enterprise-security-policy.

Will Credant Endpoint Encryption hurt my system performance?

There will be no performance impact once the encryption is done.

What is the minimum operating system required to encrypt my Mac laptop?

Your Mac laptop must be running at least Lion 10.7.5 for us to encrypt it. We can work with your department on upgrading the operating system if your laptop supports it.

How do i find my Mac OS version?

To find information on your current operating system, click on the Apple Icon and then About this Mac in the menu bar.

Will this effect how I update my Mac using the built-in Apple Updater?

Yes! You will not be able to run the built-in Apple Updater once your Mac laptop is encrypted. Some of the operating system updates that Apple pushes can corrupt the encryption and possibly lead to data loss. To protect you from this and to make sure your Mac is kept up-to-date, we will be installing the BigFix Client similar to what we install on Windows PCs. This allows us to test all updates on first before we push them out to your Mac automatically.

What change will I see after Credant Endpoint Encryption is installed?

You will see a new icon on your System Preferences; it will not be visible in any other part of the operating system.

Do I have to remember a separate password for Credant Endpoint Encryption?

No. Your Credant Endpoint Encryption does not require a password or separate log on to the laptop.

Will my network drives be encrypted?

No. Credant Endpoint Encryption will not encrypt network share and private drives

Are files that I store on my USB thumb drive/external hard drive encrypted?

No, only files on your local machine’s hard drive are encrypted.

Are files that I save on network shares encrypted as well?

No, only files on your local machine’s hard drive are encrypted.

Will Credant Endpoint Encryption have any effect on existing applications?

Credant Endpoint Encryption is transparent to the Mac operating system. Existing applications will continue to work.

If I send a file to a colleague in email, is it encrypted?

No, only files on your local machine’s hard drive are encrypted.

Can I work on my machine while it is performing the initial encryption?

Yes. You may notice a slight decrease in performance while this process is executing, but this decreased performance will cease when the encryption has completed (usually 4-5 hours).

Can I shut my machine down while it is encrypting?

Yes, but it is not recommended that you do so. If possible, wait for the encryption process to complete before shutting your machine down. If you have to shut it down, it will resume where it left off on the next startup.

NOTE: Do not use the power button on your machine to shutdown your machine during the encryption process.

How do I know when my machine has finished encrypting my hard drive?

You can display the status of the hard drive encryption by looking at the Credant Endpoint Encryption Status on the Mac desktop.

How do I know if my machine is still encrypted?

You can display the status of the hard drive encryption by looking at the Credant Encryption Shield.

Is my machine protected if I put it into “Standby” mode?

Not completely. Since you machine will not require you to re-authenticate to Endpoint Encryption when bringing it out of Standby, it is recommended that you turn off your machine when traveling with it or when leaving for the day. See Shutdown Process.

Now that I have encryption on my machine, do I still have to be wary of the files that I store on it?

Yes. Encryption is only one piece of the security puzzle. It is best to have only data on your machine that has an immediate business need. It is recommended that any critical data be stored on a network drive/share. This will also address the need to back up this data. (Think of if your machine is lost or stolen—if your data is on a network share, you will still have access to it.)

What if I need to make a hard drive or memory upgrade to my Mac?

You will need to contact the IT Helpdesk before you make any hardware changes to your Mac. Making a hardware change will effect the encryption. We can work with you on any hardware updates that you might need.

Will you encrypt personal Mac laptops?

No, our licensing will only cover Harvard-owned Macs.

What type of encryption is used?

The entire contents of the hard drive are encrypted using the government standard AES-256 encryption algorithm. See Link.