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This page describes the requirements and best practices in place within SOM to protect data. While most security policies and standards are applied to systems, the ultimate goal of these is to protect data within the environment. This may be student data, research data, demographic and administrative data, and so much more. There are certain legal requirements and ethical concerns that must be considered when looking at options for protecting this data. In general, SOMTech leads toward protecting managed devices and data as if it is category 1 data. The goal of this page is to describe how SOMTech protects the data and to help SOM faculty, staff, and students protect data they are using while still being productive.

Consultation Requests

If you are interested in meeting with SOMTech to discuss ways that you can effectively work while still following VCU, VCU Health, and SOMTech security and privacy standards (among others), please submit a ticket requesting a meeting.


One of the easiest ways to verifiably protect data is for it to be encrypted. VCU has an encryption standard which outlines when and how data should be encrypted. While this is not exhaustive (please read the standard), the primary times that data must be encrypted is as follows:

  • Laptops (all laptops must be encrypted with a managed encryption solution)
  • Category 1 data not stored on centrally-managed network storage (i.e. SOM T:\ and U:\ drives, VCU Health H:\ and S:\ drives)
  • Category 1 and 2 data transferred over untrusted networks
  • Category 1 data being emailed and transferred over any network
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