Skip to main content

System Status: 

Full Disk Encryption (FDE) and Sophos Safeguard

Learn how to protect UC San Diego data with Full Disk Encryption.

Full Disk Encryption (FDE) benefits

UC San Diego's digital resources are valuable assets. Lost or stolen computers cause data breaches and compliance problems. Recent cyber-attacks in the news are striking closer to home. These developments require continuing diligence by everyone at UC San Diego. Security controls should be in place to prevent and reduce the risk of harm caused to these resources by error, accident, or malicious action, as mandated by the Office of the Chancellor.

FDE provides an additional security control at the hardware level. It automatically converts data into a form that cannot be understood by anyone who does not have the key to undo this conversion. Without the correct key, even if the hard drive is removed and placed into another machine the information will be unreadable. FDE is especially useful for laptops and small computing devices that can be lost or stolen.

FDE Software

UC San Diego-owned computers

Campus policy requires all UC San Diego-owned laptops to have an FDE program installed. IT Services Security provides the Sophos SafeGuard solution for all UC San Diego-owned equipment. 

Sophos SafeGuard features:

  • Centrally managed, full disk encryption solution with key management
  • Technology built into these compatible operating systems:
    • Windows BitLocker for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
    • Mac OSX FileVault 2 for Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11
  • Seamless management of keys and recovery functions from the SafeGuard Management Center
  • Allows key recovery from users' mobile devices

If you only use the native encryption without SafeGuard, centralized recovery key management and status updates are not available. By using Sophos SafeGuard, your department, division, or unit can check the Sophos SafeGuard Full Disk Encryption status log to ensure a computer was encrypted and perform a recovery in the event that a computer is lost or stolen.

Personally-owned computers

Sophos Safeguard FDE is not licensed for personal equipment. If you use your personal laptop to access UC San Diego information, we strongly recommend that you enable native FDE technology. Solutions include:

Get Sophos SafeGuard FDE

To obtain Sophos SafeGuard, contact your local IT staff. If you don't have local IT support staff, contact IT Services Security. IT Services staff can consult the SysAdmin Wiki.

For more information, contact IT Services Security at