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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.

Hard Drive Encryption Vs. Hard Drive Pulverization: It’s A Matter Of Data At Rest

And what type of resting you’re looking for your data: eternal or not.  (What a terrible play on words.  Thank God I wasn’t an English major; they might rescind my diploma.)  Anyhow, this may be a good time to explore some alternatives to data protection solutions like full disk encryption.

 

The montereyherald.com has an article describing how certain businesses have decided to pulverize their computers’ hard drives in order to comply with HIPAA, SarbOx, and FACTA, as well as any other federal regulations governing privacy regulations.  The companies in question literally pulverize the hard drives, and generally takes them less than thirty seconds per drive to crush them.

 

In fact, the “pulverizers” (I like the sound of this) will bring their equipment around and ground the disks to a fine powder right in front of you.  I imagine the reason would be two‑fold for this: It’s a great show, I’ll bet, which helps to spread the service’s availability via word‑of‑mouth (ever watch Letterman in the old days when he would crush stuff on a hydraulic press?  Look it up in YouTube…you won’t be disappointed).  Second, and more important from a security standpoint, it ensures that one of those drives doesn’t go missing prior to getting decimated.

 

There’s no question that the above service is a good idea.  I’ve covered plenty of stories where the owner of a business or an unthinking civil worker tossed old computers without further thought to what’s actually contained in those machines.  Even if someone had taken the time to “delete” files from the computer, and reformatted the hard drive, this does not mean that the data has been erased.  Indeed, the term “erasing data” is very misleading, since there is no real way to erase data on a computer.  It’s more akin to “replacing data.”  That is, in order to get rid of existing data, you have to supply it with something else—anything else.  It’s like one of those horror stories where, in order to escape, someone else must be brought in.

 

However, as a data security measure, one has to keep in mind that pulverizing drives is the perfect solution when you’re going to toss that computer—or if you’re going to toss the hard drive.  What about protecting the data when you’re not planning on throwing anything away?  After all, the federal regulations mentioned above are not expressly for when you’re about to dispose of data and data retention devices.  The spirit of these regulations is to ensure that data security remains in effect during and after one’s done with the data.  Grounding up drives only achieves the latter.

 

If your physical security measures—such as doors, locks, and security guards—are not up to snuff, and you deal with sensitive data, you still need something to ensure data security while you’re using that computer.  Enter full disk encryption solutions like AlertBoot, for hard drives, flash drives, CDs, and other type of device on which data is retained.  Encryption will safeguard your data while the computer is still useful—and beyond, if necessary.  If you have an encrypted drive, you can just toss it, and it’s still protected.

 

Granted, it’s not as satisfying as seeing a block of plastic and metal go in one way, and come out as sparkly confetti on the other.

 
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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.