Encryption: How to wish your data a safe journey

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

One of my defining memories of childhood holidays is the Tetris-like exercise of squeezing everything into the small family car (suitcases, rucksacks, travel games, sleeping bags, etc.) closely followed by the last minute checks. Are the passports packed, is the road atlas to hand (no sat-nav back then), last check of fuel, coolant, oil and tyres.

It seemed prudent to give that journey an extra bit of care and attention. We should take similar precautions to ensure our data and devices have an equally safe trip whenever they travel.

If there was ever any doubt regarding a company’s responsibilities towards the handling of personal data, the introduction of GDPR earlier this year has brought the issue very much to the fore. In some quarters the encryption of data was marketed as the Holy Grail and I certainly read articles which implied that one could not possibly meet the GDPR requirements without an encryption solution.  This is not true, any more than it is the case that with encryption one has met all the GDPR requirements.

However, any device which travels beyond the four walls of the secure office and network which contains sensitive data (or has the means of accessing sensitive data) should be encrypted.

Without encryption, accessing the data contained on a USB stick or drive is a simple exercise in plug-and-play. Accessing the data on a lost (or stolen) laptop is comparatively straight forward and resetting passwords on a Windows device requires just a little knowledge and some specific tools to gain full access without even removing the drive.

If a lost device contained sensitive company information, a route into the network, a list of passwords, etc. the potential damage to a company or individual reaches far beyond the concerns of GDPR.

With the device encrypted it is rendered unusable without the encryption key. This negates any of the aforementioned methods of accessing the contents;
– the USB stick cannot be read
– the drive from a Windows device cannot be removed and read from an alternative PC
– the password resetting tools cannot access the drive to perform any reset

Windows 10 Pro already includes encryption options in the form of BitLocker. Other commercial tools are also available which we supply and install to best meet the requirement.

Like all good journeys, the best preparation starts before you leave and travelling devices are safer encrypted.

Please contact us on 0118 976 7111 if you would like to discuss any encryption options.