Would your data be secure even when your laptop is stolen?

If you or any of your staff carry a laptop around then your businesses data security is at increased risk the moment that laptop leaves the office. Any laptop can be stolen from a car or hotel room - or even snatched out of your hands.

Of course the laptop has an intrinsic value, and the hassle of an insurance claim or simply being without a computer can be costly - but what about the data or the increased potential for security breach of your network?

It used to be true that thieves would target laptops to get some quick cash from the hardware, but increasingly the data has a value and could be used for profitable if unscrupulous means.

When a laptop is stolen you do not normally need a password to get at the data - you just remove the hard disk from the stolen laptop and install it in another computer - hey presto your data is visible to anybody with a basic knowledge of computing.

The only effective solution to this problem is to have your users laptop hard disks fully encrypted. This requires installation of software which will encrypt all the data on the disk and will only decrypt it when the correct password is entered BEFORE the operating system loads.

This feature - "decryption after pre-boot authentication" - is what secures your data and makes it useless to a criminal that has their hands on your hard disk.

Some time ago we used to offer a laptop data encryption service with a software tool called TrueCrypt. This software was used to secure your company data when it left the office on users laptops.

TrueCrypt is no longer considered secure, but it’s successor – VeraCrypt – is based on TrueCrypt and these security issues have been addressed.

With this in mind, you should urgently consider how secure your business data is when it is outside the building on laptops that have been issued to staff .

Installation of VeraCrypt is a multi stage process:

  • A full image based backup of the laptop hard disk is taken.
  • The image based backup is verified as readable.
  • VeraCrypt is installed and an encryption test is performed.
  • A recovery disk is created and and encryption password is set.
  • The laptop is encrypted and post encryption tests are made.
  • The image based backup we took is deleted.

The whole process can take a few hours (depending upon the speed of your laptop) and for this reason it is best done at purchase time, or when your laptop is with us for an SSD hard disk or RAM upgrade.

Even outside of these circumstances your laptop ought to be encrypted so we'd recommend you have this work planned if you haven't done so already.

Note that VeraCrypt is free to use however we will add a charge of £20 + VAT to your invoice which - once paid - will be donated to the VeraCrypt developers. If you prefer not to donate this amount then please let us know.

If you'd like to secure your data, please contact us today on 01603 554000 for help.

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