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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.

File Encryption Not On Back Up Tape, 15 Years Worth Of Personal Information Compromised

When it’s time to protect the content in a computer, file encryption is a great way of approaching the issue.  While I tend to recommend full disk encryption, there are times when this is no good.  For example, back‑up tapes don’t mesh with disk encryption.  This means that individual files going on that tape must be encrypted, one-by-one.

 

And, yes, encrypting individual files is time consuming; however, it’s certainly better than not encrypting the information.  Take into consideration the village of Tinley Park.  It’s a small municipality near Chicago, and recently found that they’re missing a backup tape.  The information on that tape goes back ten to 15 years, and if the incident develops into an actual data breach, it could affect approximately 19,000 residents.  This is in addition to vendors and employees of the municipality.

 

What type of information was on the tape?  Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and bank account numbers.  Anyone who has submitted information to the village after May 30 is not affected by the lost tape, however.  I suppose, their information was scheduled to be backed up much later…

 

Village officials have pointed out that it’s the first time backup tapes have been compromised.  Meh.  I’m not sure that has any bearing on the matter.  In security circles, it’s a certainty that any company will have a “first time” when it comes to data breaches.  Even security companies, which will provide fodder for newspapers for stories full of irony.  The truth is that there are too many ways for things to get stolen or lost.  Think about it: muggings; burglaries—at your office, car, home, restaurant, etc.; con artists; pickpockets (they pick more than pockets); and hundreds of assorted other ways.

 

How is one going to protect against all of that?  It’s not possible.  That’s why encryption is such a great deal.  Encryption doesn’t prevent your computers, hard drives, tapes from disappearing.  What it does is ensure the privacy of the data on those devices.  You don’t have to worry about muggings, burglaries, and con artists (well, you do.  Be aware of your surroundings, be safe, all that jazz), since the use of encryption prevents them from accessing the protected data.

 

Apparently, the village agrees.  Village manager Scott Niehaus said that backup tapes will be encrypted going forward.  Furthermore, it sounds like they’ll be restricting who has access to the tapes, further ensuring that a similar scenario doesn’t play out in the future.

 

Related Articles:

http://www.southtownstar.com/news/1071154,072308tinleyinfoweb.article

 
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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.