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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.

Disk Encryption Saves Big Mac’ing Soldier

As readers of this blog know, the UK has had quite a string of security breaches over the past six months or so.  And the biggest victims have been the various government services (and by extension, a boatful of regular UK joes.  In a particular case, up to half the UK population fell victim to an information security breach).

 

The UK military was one of those affected.  Due to continuing data breaches the UK military instituted a policy where laptop computers couldn’t be taken outside secure perimeters unless full disk encryption was employed.  This, however, did not deter military personnel from ignoring said policy.  An officer promptly lost an unencrypted laptop at a pub within two weeks.

 

However, there are signs that the UK military efforts are succeeding.  A couple of days ago, a military laptop was stolen while the soldier chowed down at a McDonald’s.  The thief was quite brazen, since the laptop was under the soldier’s chair.

 

The Ministry of Defence promptly released a statement that the stolen laptop did not contain sensitive information, and that encryption was employed to safeguard the digital contents.

 

And the result of this is…?  Absolutely nothing.  There has been some coverage, but aside from every single news outlet pointing out that the officer was eating a Big Mac, there hasn’t been much to report.  Likewise, the usual furor that shows up on the comments section of on‑line periodicals is non-existent.

 

In some ways, this is surprising to me.  I was sure that someone would rant and rave about government idiocy and whatnot.  After all, why would anyone leave anything of value away from their line of sight?  Regardless, the whole issue appears to be a moot point for the general public.  As it should be, in a sense.  Full disk encryption, a service provided by companies like AlertBoot, renders a laptop useless as long as the thief does not have the username and password to decrypt the contents of the hard drive in the computer.

 

Of course, the fact that there was no sensitive data to begin with could render full disk encryption a moot point as well.  This doesn’t mean that encryption is a useless tool.  After all, who’s to say that tomorrow the military finds out via an analysis of back up tapes that, contrary to the earlier announcement, sensitive information was on the now stolen laptop?  It certainly has happened before.

 
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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.