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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.

Hard Drive Encryption Software: Steamboat Springs School District Victim Of Laptop Theft

Why is hard drive encryption software like AlertBoot a better way to protect data than your average door?  Follow this link and you'll know why.

That is a great picture.  Notice how the door-handle has been snapped off as well.  Apparently, a crowbar was used.  The leverage gained from long door-handles works wonders for destroying the door...until it snaps, that is.  (Yes, I know from personal experience, although it wasn't part of a criminal venture.)

All this violence has led to the disappearance of a laptop computer from the Steamboat Springs School District office in Colorado.  It sounds like the laptop did not make use of full disk encryption to protected its contents; password-protection, which is possibly the worst type of computer security one can have, is the only thing standing between the thief and the contents of that laptop.

And what contents!  According to the article in the link above, the laptop had a spreadsheet file with the names and Social Security numbers of 1,300 current and past employees of the school district.  A digital treasure trove to criminals with half a brain and plenty of gumption.

File Encryption Software Would Have Sufficed

It sounds like the only data that was blatantly sensitive was the spreadsheet with the 1,300 names and SSNs.  In such cases, one doesn't even have to use whole disk encryption, where the entire disk on a laptop is protected.  File encryption could have been used to protect the one file.

From Bad To Worse

Furthermore, the laptop was used by the owner, the District Finance Director, to access the district's financial database and direct-deposit system.  Thankfully, the latter has security systems in place for monitoring and preventing unauthorized access.

Another headache is the fact that about two-thirds of the 1,300 are no longer in the district (the list includes employees from as far back as ten years ago), so there is no easy way to contact them, and alert them for the need to keep an eye out for their financial wellbeing.

Will the lack of encryption result in ID thefts of these 1,300?  You be the judge.

According to the article, only the financial office was broken into, and there was no sign outside the door that it was the financial office.  Plus, a blank deposit book was stolen, although it was from the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Education Services, a separate organization housed in the same building.  Otherwise, everything else seems to be in place.

In other words, this was targeted.

Too bad AlertBoot wasn't used.  It would have rendered moot the theft of the laptop.  When it comes to ID thefts, that is.  The school district would still be out a laptop computer, which, when you consider the ramifications of this theft, doesn't appear to be a big deal in of itself.

 
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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.