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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.

Laptop Encryption Software: Jubilee House In Blackburn Loses 15 Computers

Fifteen laptops being used at the Jubilee House in Blackburn were stolen this past June.  This breach could potentially affect up to 3,500 people, including children.  An internal review strongly hints that data-centric protection such as full disk encryption would have been ideal, although the UK's Information Commissioner is conducting an independent investigation, and may find otherwise.

The Perfect (Data) Storm

The "perfect storm" is used to describe a situation where rare elements come together to create an unheard of situation (usually bad).  This Jubilee House case is an example of a perfect storm, where everything that could go wrong, did.

To begin with, disk encryption was not used to secure the contents of the laptops, which contained sensitive data (at least, one assumes so, seeing how there's so much brouhaha over this case).

My own opinion is that the internal review seems to strongly hint that password protection was used: it has found that "anyone with 'good IT technical skills' could have accessed the data."  I take it to mean that the laptops' hard drives could have been slaved to a computer the thieves already use, and gain access to the data that way.  It's one common method of getting around that pesky windows password prompt.

The review also found that the building's locks were not adequate; the alarms to these, while active, did not inform the occupants of the intrusion to the Jubilee House (there were people inside?!); and the security company responded slowly to the alarm.

With so many "tripwires" in place, the thieves still managed to steal those laptops.  I wonder, if encryption had been used, would the passwords to access these laptops have been taped to the bottom of each machine, in keeping with the "spirit" of the situation?  It almost seems likely...

No Backups In Place

To make matters worse, it sounds like the staff didn't have any backups in place (or, perhaps, they, too, were stolen), so they had to attempt to guess what data was stolen by going through their e-mail accounts, and recollecting their thoughts on what was downloaded to the laptops.

And, even then, the staff managed to send 100 notification letters to children, as opposed to their parents.  One wonders what else staff got wrong.

Encryption products like AlertBoot are not a cure-all for your data security needs.  They won't, for example, provide you with backup data in the event a computer is stolen.

However, can go a long way towards ensuring that sensitive information doesn't fall in the wrong hands.

Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/4651234.Personal_details_of_up_to_3_500_people_were_on_stolen_Blackburn_council_computers/

 
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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.