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M Drive FAQ

 

Q: How do I know if I am an owner of High-Risk Information?
A: If you or your department have information that contains a person's full name (or first initial and last name) in combination with any one of the following: HUID, Social Security number, credit card number, driver’s license number, Massachusetts state identification number, personal bank account number, passport number / visa number, or biometric indicator; you are a high-risk information owner.

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Q: Why do we have an “M:” Drive?
A: The “M:” drive is used to share high-risk information between departments at Harvard Law School.

The sharing of sensitive data such as HUIDs and Social Security numbers via email is not secure.

In order to comply with the Massachusetts data privacy law, such high-risk information should be stored and shared on HLS’s secured network.

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Q: Who can access the “M:” Drive?
A: Only HLS Staff have access to the “M:” drive. Access to the folders within the “M:” drive is based on permissions granted by the owner of each folder.

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Q: Who has access to the folders and files I create?
A: Only you do, until you give others permission to access the files and/or folders

Information Technology Services (ITS) DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS to the folder or files you create.  Recovering files and resetting permissions is a lengthy process and must be approved by the owner of the data, and when they are not available, the data owner’s manager.

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Q: What are permissions?
A: Permissions determine who can acces data stored in a folder

Choosing the appropriate access level:

  • FULL CONTROL - Can modify contents and change the folder permissions.
    • ITS does not recommend granting this level of access to anyone else.
  • MODIFY- Can post, view, delete, and modify the contents of files.
    • ITS recommends granting ‘Modify’ permissions for anyone who needs to be able to add, modify, or delete files in a folder.
  • READ & EXECUTE - Can view contents of all files in folder (and also execute programs).   Cannot modify or delete any files.
  • LIST FOLDER CONTENTS - Can see file names (but cannot view contents of or modify files).
  • READ - Can view contents of all files in folder (but cannot post files or modify them).
  • WRITE - Can add files (but cannot view contents of or modify existing files).

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Q: Does the “M:” drive replace my departmental R: or S: drive?
A: No, the “M:” drive is designed for you to be able to share high-risk data with other departments.  Continue using the R: or S: drive to share high-risk data with others in your department.

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Q: Can I access the “M:” drive from off campus?
A: Due to the nature of the information stored on the “M:” drive it is only accessible from HLS-owned laptops using VPN.

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Q: How do I let others know where a folder or file is located?
A: Email the person needing access to a file or folder the path to the file or folder starting with “M:\” as a drive letter. e.g. M:\Administration\ITS\<Foldername>

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Q: Help! I can't access my file / folder. What should I do?
A: There could be an issue with the permissions on the folder or file.  Please contact the Help Desk.

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Q: Help! I can’t access a file or folder someone is trying to share with me.  What should I do?
A: Contact the person who is trying to share with you and verify they have granted you access to the file or folder.  If they have or are unsure, have them contact the Help Desk.

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Q: I have created a folder and shared files but want to share with more people.  What is the best way to do this?
A: Simply right click on the folder and follow the steps to add more people to the folder.

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Q: I need to share information with more than one department, how should I do this?
A: ITS recommends you share with only the people who need access to the data.  For example:

  • If you have sensitive information that needs to be shared with HR, and separate sensitive information that needs to be shared with ITS,  create two separate folders, giving HR access to one and ITS access to the other.
  • If both groups need to access the same data you can grant groups of people permission to the same folder

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Q: Why can’t I see or manage file permissions from my MAC?
A: Apple OS X can only understand the files in the format in which Windows stores them.  OS X cannot read the permissions settings to allow you to change them.  This must be done from a PC.

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Q: Can I remove people who no longer need access to files?
A: Yes.  Right click on the folder, click on the person you want to remove (their name will turn blue), and click remove.

  • NOTE: If the folder is no longer needed by any user outside your department, ITS recommends moving the folder to your R: drive or deleting the folder and its contents.  Using this method reduces the risk of error.

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Q: I tried to send someone a path to a folder in my R: drive and they could not access it.  Can other people access my department’s R: drive?
A: No, only your department can access your R: drive. The inability to access other departments' "R:" drives is done by design.

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Q: Can I access the “M:” drive through SFTP?
A: No.

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 Q: Do I have to set permissions on each folder I create, even folders within folders?
A: Yes.  The “M:” drive is designed for secure file sharing.  By allowing only the most restrictive permissions by default; there is less possibility of mistakes.

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Q: I want to share with someone in another department, but can’t create a folder in their shared folder.
A: You can only create a folder in your department’s folder.

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Q: I have data that I think is high-risk but am not sure if I should send it through email or put it on the “M:” drive, what should I do?
A: When in doubt, use the “M:” drive.  If you need clarification on what is ‘high-risk data’, please contact the Help Desk at (617) 495-0722.

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Last modified: December 08, 2008

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