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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.

Full Disk Encryption Should Be A Requirement For UK Government Hard Drive Security? They're Losing One Computer A Day

It's being reported by The Telegraph that the British government has lost over 2800 computers since 2002, or about a computer a day, on average.  The losses break down to 1774 laptops and 1035 desktops.  Furthermore, 202 hard drives and 195 memory sticks also went missing.  I'd generally say that full disk encryption solutions like AlertBoot would have stemmed any data security breaches…but in this case, I'm not so sure.

Full Disk Encryption Is Not A Substitute For Brains

When roughly half of your computer losses--and, consequently, data losses--stem from the loss of desktop computers, you've got serious issues.  I mean, I can understand the loss of laptops.  It hasn't happened to me, yet, but the chances that it will happen to me sometime during my lifetime are pretty high, especially since desktops seem to be going the way of dinosaurs. (You can't lose something that's not gonna be there anymore, right?)  People tend to forget stuff when they're carrying them around, not to mention it drastically increases the odds of it being stolen.

But how do you lose a desktop?  Those are pretty hard to lose.  They're not impossible to lose, so I can accept desktops being part of the equation.  But half of all losses?

Since most people don't carry around desktop computers--it's slightly inconvenient--I would imagine most of these losses stem from three things: 1) Theft by outsiders (break-ins), 2) Theft by insiders, and 3) Misplacement (stuck in a closet somewhere, eventually followed by either #1 or #2 above).  Regardless, this shows a clear lack of security.  I mean, stuff disappears from your office, and nothing is done?

In my experience, data encryption doesn't work with such cavalier attitudes: those who are apt to close store for the night with doors and windows unlocked are also the types to keep their passwords stuck to keyboards and monitors.  Hard drive encryption software may cure a lot of ills, but only when used correctly--not that it takes a lot of brains to figure that one out.

Oxymorons: Pretty Ugly.  Idiot Savant.  Military Intelligence

Of all government branches, the Ministry of Defence had the most losses, with over 1000 lost laptops and 164 missing desktops.

First, I'd like to remark that those odds are more like it.  (Question: who the heck's lost so many desktops that it brought up the total ratio to almost 60/40?)

Second, I'd like to say that that this "normal" ratio doesn't excuse the Ministry of Defence.  They're in the business of safety, as it were, and should be a beacon for how data security should be done.  If the military, the ultimate organization that requires coded information to ensure success--WWII, Bletchley Park, and the Engima machine come to mind--cannot secure data, well, who can?  I can't imagine anyone with greater incentive for protecting sensitive data.

On the other hand, my criticism may be unwarranted since I do not know what percentage of computers they represent.  For example, losing 1000 laptops is a huge deal, but one's criticism would increase or decrease in vitriol depending on the total number of computers the ministry has: do they have 50,000 computers or 2000 computers?  The former means a rate of loss of 2% over 7 years; the latter means a loss rate of 50%, which would probably indicate criminality, not incompetence.


Related Articles:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/4013138/Government-departments-losing-a-computer-every-day.html

 
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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.