What should I know about BitLocker Drive Encryption?

What is BitLocker?


BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature available in enterprise editions of Windows. BitLocker provides enhanced protection against data theft or exposure on computers that are lost or stolen, and more secure data deletion when BitLocker protected computers are decommissioned. BitLocker encrypts that data on your hard disk so that only authorized users can view it.


Who gets BitLocker?


All DeskTech supported customers running Windows have BitLocker.


Is BitLocker the only thing protecting my computer?


No. BitLocker is part of a comprehensive security strategy for all DeskTech customers. This strategy includes a campus-wide firewall, software firewall on each computer, malware protection, application white listing, and role-based security.


Will it slow my computer down?


No. Microsoft says BitLocker imposes single-digit percentage overhead. In our initial field testing with over 50 laptops and desktops in a variety of usage conditions, there was no noticeable effect on system performance.

How can I tell if my computer has BitLocker enabled?


A padlock will show up on the icon for your hard disk when viewed in Windows Explorer. Click Start and then Computer if you would like to see the icon.


What should I do if my computer is lost or stolen?


DeskTech customers should report any lost or stolen University computer equipment to DeskTech as soon as possible. DeskTech will then notify public safety and assist in any recovery efforts. Thanks to the BitLocker encryption on your computer, data on your computer will be safe from unauthorized access.


What kind of problems might I see?


Issues with BitLocker can occur under certain circumstances, usually related to hardware problems or changes. If BitLocker detects certain issues while booting your computer, it will ask for a recovery key to continue. Moving your hard disk to another computer could also trigger BitLocker to prompt for the recovery key. These keys are stored centrally by DeskTech in Active Directory and can be retrieved by a member of DeskTech Support when necessary.


What do I do if I have a problem?


Please contact the C&IT Help Desk for assistance.