All College managed Windows desktop computers are encrypted with Bitlocker to protect personal data. Bitlocker prevents access to your hard drive, should anyone tamper with your desktop or if someone tries to bypass Windows Authentication with a hacking tool on a USB stick.

If you are presented with a message to enter your Bitlocker key, then you can recover it by entering your College username and password in our Bitkey recovery website which is managed by Microsoft MBAM (Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Monitoring).

What is MBAM?

MBAM (Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Monitoring) is a Microsoft feature that allows users to recover their own Bitlocker keys without having to contact Imperial College ICT. It also allows ICT to produce reports on device compliance under GDPR.

What is Bitlocker?

Bitlocker is a Windows 7/10 feature that encrypts the C drive and ensures Windows boots without any USB device bypassing authentication and preventing any unauthorised access like removing the hard drive/SSD and docking it on another device. Recovering data from an unencrypted device is a trivial process that poses personal data at great risk, whereas encryption, at the current state of the art, is virtually unbreakable without the 48-character security key.

How does MBAM work?

MBAM manages Bitlocker: it encrypts the system drive of your machine and, whenever Windows boots (after being turned on or restarted), uses a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip to confirm that nothing has been changed that could affect your data security.