Un-Encrypted Company Laptops

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come across various cases where there was a data- breach due to a stolen laptop or a misplaced portable drive. There are cases where a particular company entrusts a laptop to its employee(s) and expect the data to be safe without attempting to provide any sort of data-encryption to the laptop or the sensitive data within the laptop.

Lets take health care places as an instance, usually a patient’s data would contain the following:-

  • Govt. IDs like SSN, Driving Licence, Voters ID etc
  • DOB
  • Health Ailments
  • Address
  • Card Details

The above are just a few that I can think of in less than a minute. A hospital or a health care system would obviously have more than that besides the kind of medicines the patient has been taking or the known side effects of the same.

A software company would have information on the kind of tools that their employees use or the type of data or clients they deal with and more.

There are many programs out in the market that help encrypt our data from hostile eyes. Windows 7 comes with a BitLocker, a tool that lets us encrypt the entire hard disk. BitLocker is only available to Ultimate or Business versions, however if your Windows 7 OS is neither Ultimate nor Business version then you may try using TrueCrypt, its open source and helps encrypt your entire hard drive, a portion of the hard drive or an external drive. Mac OSX has FileVault for the same purpose, although it encrypts only the Mac’s Home Folder. The new version of Mac OSX, Lion would contain FileVault 2, which would be able to encrypt the entire hard drive. If you’re willing to spend more, companies like Imation and Origin provide built-in encryption their portable drives that have a built-in 256bit AES encryption.

© 2012 Ajan Kancharla