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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Stolen Bank Hard Drive Has One Million Customer Records And No Hard Disk Encryption

A former programmer at Compass Bank stole a hard drive containing the information of one million customers from his employer.  He tried, with an accomplice, to execute card fraud by encoding the stolen information on blank debit cards.  He had created about 250 cards, and had successfully gotten money using 45 cards prior to being arrested.  Cognizant that banks operate security cameras and flag instances where a great deal of money is taken out from an ATM machine, the programmer tried cover his tracks by wearing a disguise and taking out relatively small amounts of cash, usually $500 or so.

 

The crime originally occurred in May of last year, but nobody was wise to the story until the thief was sentenced last week.  Turns out that Alabama is one of 11 states that does not require automatic notification of personal information breaches.  However, the bank did have the good sense of letting the 250 customers know what happened.

 

In instances like these, where an insider commits the crime, it is hard to point out what the company could have done to prevent the crime in the first place.  You know, short of making sure you hire an honest person.  (And where’s the guarantee of that happening?)  Off the bat I could say, well, encrypt your drives using a centrally managed encryption product like AlertBoot.  This way, if some guy makes off with a hard drive and he knows the passwords for decrypting the data, you can disable said passwords to the drive from your console, ensuring no one can get to the data until the drive is recovered.  This would be an impossibility for a standalone full disk encryption product, since the hard drive would have to be recovered in the first place to change any settings.

 

However, someone willing to go the distance to commit fraud will find ways around such “problems.”  For example, someone is only prompted to disable access to an encrypted drive when he is aware that the drive is missing.  So, the fraudster would try to hide the fact the drive is missing: get a brand new drive and break it—give it so much juice the internal components fry; swap the drive containing the data with the brand new, but broken, drive; bring his computer to IT and claim his computer is not working.  IT guy opens up the case and sees a fried hard drive.  IT guy orders either a new drive or computer, perhaps gives a loaner.  The last thing the IT guy is gonna do is disable access to an encrypted, but fried, drive; he’s got better things to do, you know?  In fact, he may decide to just dump the thing, “knowing” the contents are “encrypted” and hence safe to dispose of.

 

Is there a way to get around such a setup for carrying out crime?  For encryption suites with a central management console, there is, if one implements it right.  Require, as protocol and under penalty of getting fired, that IT staff keep the encryption in place but disallow all users from potentially accessing the drive for any and all returned drives, regardless of why it was returned (however, if you’re using a standalone encryption program, sorry to say this won’t work for you since there is no central management console).  Such a protocol should be part of any good computer auditing plans.

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.