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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.

Looking For Disk Encryption Software For Computers At Home? You May Want A Managed Encryption Service

The importance of data security is not relegated to the office alone.  Plenty of people feel more comfortable knowing that the information on their home computers, be they a laptop computer or a desktop, is protected with data encryption software.  However, there are hazards in the use of encryption if you’re not careful.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may be interested in encryption as a service as opposed to a solution you have to manage yourself.

Using encryption is admitting there is a chance that your computer might get stolen one day, just like insurance is admitting you could end up in an accident.  No guarantees, but if it happens, you’re glad you decided protect yourself beforehand.  If you work out of your home or happen to scan all of your documents to your computer -- including bank statements and other information you may deem sensitive, but don’t want to deal with clutter -- you’ll benefit greatly from the use of disk encryption or content encryption (they both work to protect your data in similar, yet different, ways).

There are many encryption products out in the world, including free ones (free like in free beer).  However, there is something important you should keep in mind when using such products.

  1. Make sure the encryption software you select uses a properly vetted encryption algorithm.  The algorithm is the heart of any data security tool.  RSA or AES are good choices.  They’ve been properly vetted by experts and amateurs alike, and the worldwide consensus is that they’re very good at protecting your data.  There are plenty of people who try to create a new algorithm every year, and most of them fail when thousands of people test them.
  2. Make sure it supports strong encryption.  Any encryption using 256-bit keys is deemed strong.  If you’re offered less than 128-bit keys, you should look for a different encryption product.
  3. Make sure you always keep a copy of the encryption key you end up using.

Despite the brevity of that last entry, it’s probably the most important of the three.  The encryption key is what allows one to decrypt the data.  That is, it allows you to restore the protected information, since encryption protects data by scrambling it (if you’re not looking to restore the information, it’s always advisable to destroy it, not encrypt it.  Remember, what’s not there cannot be stolen).

Normally, the computer in which you’ve got encrypted information will have a copy of the encryption key, since it’s required to both encrypt and decrypt the information.  However, there are cases when the encryption key is not available anymore.

For example, if your computer is stolen.  Mind you, the stolen computer’s data is encrypted, so the information cannot be accessed by the thief.  Everything is good with the world.  But, chances are you need that data.  As a conscientious person (you’ve got to be…you’ve decided to use encryption), you pull out your backup disk to restore the data.  However, the encryption key lies…on the stolen laptop.  Uh-oh.

If you don’t have a copy of the key, there is no way for you to access the data on the backup disk, since the same technology that keeps your data safe from the thief also prevents you from accessing it.  Plus, not only do you have to make a copy of the key, you must make sure you can find it.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget where you decided to store that key in the first place.

This is probably the number one reason why, despite free products out there, people decide to use encryption as a service.  Many think that encryption as a service is for companies only, since it allows easy and fast parallel deployments -- in other words, you can encrypt a lot of computers at the same time.  But, even though most people have one or two computers in the home, the management and safeguarding of encryption keys is a real issue that can’t be overlooked; so, in the interest of keeping one’s sanity after a distressing experience, people choose to sign up for managed encryption.

The upside to such a service is not only that someone else is ensuring your key remains safe and available when needed, though.  Companies like AlertBoot that offer managed encryption software suites also add value by helping you if you forget your password (you need two things to decrypt data: the encryption key and, usually, a username and password…although some will allow the use of tokens).  For example, you can reset your password after it can be verified that you are, indeed, you.  The process is similar to resetting your password for a Yahoo! or Google mail account.  You can even choose what the questions are by typing them in directly.  Or, if you don’t have access to the internet, call support for help resetting your password.

 
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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.