Why Encrypt my Hard Disk

Encrypt Hard Disk

If you use a laptop or other mobile device for work, there is a good chance you are travelling with this machine and at times, it may not be completely secure. You cant keep your eyes on it 100% of the time can you? So there is always the risk that it could be lost or stolen, and with that would also go your data.

Sure, you probably have this backed up but not only would this be expensive and inconvenient to you to lose, it could also lead to a major security breach. If you have customer data/details on that machine, merely having password protection enabled is not enough to protect that data. If the machine falls in to the wrong hands, all that is required is for the hard disk to be removed, connected to another PC as a secondary disk and then the unauthorized user can take ownership of the data – at which point it is all available to them to do with as they wish.

It may be that you work under the control of one of many various regulatory bodies that already insist that you protect your customers data via full hard disk encryption. If so, then hopefully you are heeding their advice and doing so. If you are not subject to such control measures, it’s worth giving some thought as to whether you would feel more comfortable employing full disk encryption for your data.

Full disk encryption means that the whole disk is encrypted, rather than just a few files and folders and this is an ongoing process as you add more data to the disk. If the device is stolen, as long as you have a strong password, that should hopefully stop any users logging in to Windows. Outside of that, access to the disk is prohibited without the disk encryption key, which you should be holding stored in a separate place.

You can achieve full hard disk encryption if you have a Professional version of Windows 7 8 or 10 via Bit-Locker Encryption which is a part of Windows – provided your machine has the necessary hardware to support this. This is known as a TPM (Trusted Platform Module). Otherwise there are numerous third party tools available to purchase to add this functionality to your machine.

Paul Cox – IT Director Sound Networks