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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.

Drive Encryption Software: MoJ Lost Data on 1,500 in March 2009

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in the UK has revealed in their annual financial report that they've had two data breaches.  In neither case did they use drive encryption, like AlertBoot, to protect the contents.

Missing Memory Stick

In one instance, a USB memory stick was lost, in March 2009.  It contained spreadsheets with the unencrypted information of 1,500 MoJ staff members, including names and national insurance numbers. (The other case was already covered earlier this year.

The memory stick was described as being "non-issue," meaning (and I'm taking a guess here) that it was a staff member's personal property.  It was due to incidents like this one that prompted some in the UK government to announce that staff will be given secure memory sticks.  And by secure, I mean USB drives that feature encryption.

However, that doesn't prevent people from using their own USB sticks, as we can tell from the above case.

And it makes sense.  I found the other day that a 5 GB drive, the size of my index finger (and I've got some darn, small hands), was selling for the discounted price of $15.  At such prices, it's no wonder that everyone and their grandmother is carrying one of these...and what could be more natural that reaching for the USB stick in your pocket, as opposed to looking for the one that's secure and authorized at the work place?

Disabling USB Ports - For Certain Devices Only

Thankfully, we have the means to, not only stop this from happening, but to modify user behavior.  (If a device doesn't work on a computer, the natural behavior is to reach for the one that works, right?)

This behavior-modifying technology exists in the form of USB port control software.  It allows an administrator to create a list of approved devices only (in the case of AlertBoot, using a whitelist.  A blacklist can also be used to prevent devices from working as well).

If the USB drive in question is not on the approved list, it cannot connect to the computer even if it's plugged in.  It's a better way of blocking USB ports than using a combination of superglue and pennies, for example.


Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.cio.de/news/cio_worldnews/899249/
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/092309-ministry-of-justice-loses-2000.html
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39763712,00.htm

 
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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.