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Encrypting files stored on cloud-based storage services

08 May 2015

The University currently has a site-wide licence to use the nCryptedcloud encryption service.

This service works with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and some other cloud storage services, and can be used to encrypt files in selected folders. You can also choose to securely share your files with external collaborators.

For example, it can enable sensitive research results to remain private should a security breach occur with your cloud provider. You cloud storage host may tell you that they encrypt all the data they hold on their US-based servers, but they may use a single key, known only to them, for all of the billions of files they store. This would mean that if this key becomes known, your data would no longer be regarded as entirely private.

Choosing to pre-encrypt files yourself, while not 100% safe, is a much better bet. This is similar to University policy about using encrypted laptops and mobile devices. Experience with such encryption services as could influence future policies.

You can continue to share your encrypted folders with third-party collaborators. They just need to use the free-to-download ncryptedCloud software.

We have had around 100 trial users to-date but would like to see more people try this service, so nCryptedcloud Chief Business Officer Tom Murphy is flying over from Boston to demonstrate how we can get the best out of their service, and is hosting four sessions to answer questions from any users or potential users:

  • Monday 18 May 2015 at 2pm
  • Tuesday 19 May 2015 at 2pm
  • Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 10:30am
  • Wednesday 20 May 2015 at 2pm

These one hour sessions take place in Williamson Building room 205.

Drop-ins from University of Manchester staff and students are welcome, but please email Ian Cottam, identifying which session you plan to attend. If you would like to attend, but you are not staff or student at the University of Manchester, you must email Ian Cottam to make a request.

Further details:

IT Services