PGP Encryption for College of Medicine Computers

The information below pertains to computers running the COMIS baseline. If you are using PGP on a LCOM computer that does not have the COMIS baseline on it then the information on the UVM web page pertains to you. That web page can be found at

What is PGP

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is data privacy and protection software that utilizes encryption and authentication to hide information. With PGP, a computer's hard disk can be encrypted to render it unreadable to unauthorized users without the encryption passphrase or a recovery token, even if the disk is removed from the computer. PGP Desktop is a suite of encryption applications from PGP Corporation.

What does PGP encrypt?

Every single bit of data on a hard disk, including not just files and programs, but also temporary files, file metadata, and the disk's empty space. Total encryption of the drive protects the data by rendering the contents of the disk unreadable to anyone who does not know the encryption passphrase, even if the disk drive is removed from the computer. Pre-boot authentication is also required so that your computer will not boot unless the correct passphrase is entered. PGP can also be used on flash drivers and other media used to store or transport confidential information.

Why am I required to install PGP on my COM laptop?

State and Federal regulations have prompted more stringent security policies at UVM requiring that all laptops be encrypted for data protection. An encrypted hard drive, used correctly, protects data from unauthorized access in the event of computer theft or loss. User knowledge of proper protection methods and safe computing practices, in conjunction with encryption technology, help to ensure that data is guarded from accidental, unlawful or malicious use. University Policy will be forthcoming on this subject and can be found at