Data Storage and Backup

Knowing where your data is stored and also the backup and recovery options are very important for ensuring the safety and integrity of University data. While the information below is aimed primarily at University data, there are recommendations that will also help you protect your personal information on your own devices.

University Provided Storage

Network storage – the University provides all students, faculty and staff with secure individual network storage (an H: drive for students, and an N: drive for faculty and staff). Departments also have S: drive for shared departmental storage. This data is backed up nightly.

SharePoint storage – Departmental and committee SharePoint sites can be used for storing documents and data. This data is stored in SQL databases and is backed up nightly.

OneDrive for Business – All students, faculty and staff have 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage in the Mount’s Office 365 tenant. This data is secure, encrypted, and backed up nightly.

Local Device Storage

If you choose to store data locally on your own device or University laptop, you will be responsible for your own backup and recovery strategy.

Storing confidential University data locally is not recommended. If you must store confidential information locally, please ensure the device is encrypted.

Please note:

  • Storing data locally on the C: drive of University computers is not advised. This data is not backed up and cannot be recovered in the event of a hardware failure or a malware attack.
  • The C: drive should never be used for storing confidential information unless the drive is encrypted. In the event of the theft of the computer, the loss of this data would be regarded as a security breach.
  • Classrooms and lab computers are frozen. This means they are wiped clean of any locally stored data on restart. Course work or assignments stored on the C: drive would be lost when the computer is restarted.

Consumer Cloud Storage

Many companies offer free consumer cloud storage in exchange for advertising and profiling your use of the service, such as Google Drive, Gmail, Drop Box, Facebook, etc. While the convenience of a consumer cloud service makes them an attractive and popular choice, it should be noted that the cloud service provider will have an agreement with you as an individual and not with the University. Often these agreements include scanning and sharing of data with third parties. While you may chose to use consumer cloud services as part of your storage and backup strategy for your personal data, they should not be used for storing confidential University data.

Definition of Confidential Data

Please consult your manager or department head if you have questions about which category the information you work with falls under, and for the best means of sharing the information with others.