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Office of Finance and Treasurer News


35.7 Million Records Exposed by Data Breaches in 2008

2008 brought a dramatic increase in data breaches across business sectors, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, with lost or stolen laptops often named as the cause for sensitive data exposure. Using encryption can help protect American University's data and yours. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, OIT is working to encrypt all AU-owned laptops, running Windows XP or Vista, as well as desktops identified as handling sensitive private data by the privacy audit conducted by AU's internal auditors.

We will need to enlist the help of everyone at American to be successful.

Please contact us if you have an AU-owned Windows laptop that has not been encrypted. We will also try to contact you directly based on computer inventories. New laptops will be encrypted prior to delivery to ease the burden of trying to coordinate a time that does not interfere with your work commitments.

We will continue to monitor the market place for a supportable, commercial whole-disk encryption solution for our Macintosh users. Instructions are available online on how to encrypt files using FileVault.

Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550,, or on instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp for additional information or to schedule encryption of your AU-owned workstation.