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Information asset security with data encryption

SafeBoot : 11 July, 2007  (Technical Article)
Comments from UK Information Commissioner highlight the need for protection of data assets using full disk encryption.
Today, the UK's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas said UK bosses must take more seriously data breaches relating to their staff and customers. With an endless stream of news on data breaches and nearly 24,000 complaints about the security of personal information in 2006-07, the protection of data assets is now critical and more diligence is required.

Data breaches are costly to all involved; organisations are made to look incompetent and negligent if data falls into the wrong hands, while the victim falls prey to any number of nasty consequences like ID theft.

More and more data is now stored and accessed on PCs, laptops, tablet PCs and other such mobile devices as mission-critical data continues to grow and travel freely across networked environments and the internet. This allows a criminal many opportunities to acquire the data for improper use. However, with just a little bit of common sense and a few precautionary steps this danger can be minimised.

According to SafeBoot, mobile data protection experts, the magic word in the battle against data theft is 'encryption'. Implementing an organisation-wide security policy which ensures that all devices (laptops, PDAs, external hard-drives and USB sticks) are encrypted is imperative to the safety of data.

Tom De Jongh, Product Manager at SafeBoot offers some top tips to help organisations protect their data:

* Tablet PCs, laptops and desktops should always use Full Hard Disk Encryption to protect all data stored on them - failure to do so is like leaving your keys in the car ignition!
* Encryption of all files and folders should be a standard policy. While documents are travelling throughout your organisation they need to remain secure and stay that way wherever they are saved.
* In the digital age, corporate networks are alive with 'illegal' devices, such as iPods, personal PDAs and USB sticks. It is important to ensure Device Control software is deployed to control these devices and their accessibility.
* USB sticks are a great way transferring data around, but prove a security nightmare; they can be used for corporate espionage or easily lost. Make sure you use hardware encrypted USB storage devices to protect sensitive data.

Following these simple steps will prevent data theft and the embarrassment, financial implications and the potential prison sentence and keeps everyone's important data safe.
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