XCLN: Improving the Security of PST Files

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The password protection for Microsoft personal information store (PST)files provides only limited security. Adopting certain practices canincrease this security. Utilities that can remove or bypass the password ona PST have been posted on the Internet. None of these utilities areendorsed or supported by Microsoft.
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Limiting physical access to a PST file increases the security of the data.Anyone who has physical access to a PST file and has one of these utilitiescan remove or bypass the PST password. These utilities will remove orbypass the PST password even for PSTs created with the CompressibleEncryption and Best Encryption options.

In order to protect sensitive e-mail against unauthorized access, considerthe following practices:
  • Do not use a PST file. Store all sensitive e-mail in the Exchange Server Information Store. This is the default configuration for all clients that are used with Exchange Server.

  • If you need to use a PST file that is located on a file server or is in a shared directory, use file-level permissions to control which users can access the PST file.

  • If you use a PST file that is located on your local computer, limit access to the computer by using password-protected screen savers, locking the computer, or locking the office where the computer resides. If you are running Microsoft Windows NT, you can use the Windows NT File System (NTFS) to limit access to the owner of the PST.

Article ID: 143241 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 02:20:00 - Revision: 3.0

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