in

This Blog

Syndication

Tags

News

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.

Archives

AlertBoot Endpoint Security

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.

What Is The Best Disk Encryption Software To Be Used As Part Of My Laptop Computer Security?

Looking for the best disk encryption software? Your definition of "best" may differ from mine, but I'd look for:

  • centrally managed encryption program that can encrypt your hard drives (external as well as in desktops and laptops).
  • It should also offer file encryption, for encrypting individual files, and USB port security.
  • Because it's centrally managed, it means your encryption keys are managed and backed up for you--an important add-on that cannot be ignored: Lose your encryption keys and no one, including yourself, will be able to access the encrypted data.  So, back ups are extremely important.
  • Also offered should be 24/7 password recovery, on-line and via phone.
  • Powerful reports for auditing and keeping track of computers' encryption status should also be available.

The above features are found in AlertBoot endpoint security systems, while other encryption suites may offer the same or a combination of these.  Regardless of who you choose to go with, the following are some points to take into consideration when choosing an encryption program to fit your needs:

When it comes to security, people want the best.  Naturally, people will want to have the best encryption software when it comes to data security software products as well.  While many are looking into using laptop encryption, the truth is that encryption makes sense regardless of the type of computer you use (desktops, servers, UPMCs, netbooks, etc.) if you’re constantly working with sensitive information.

If you’re looking for the best encryption software, chances are that you’re looking for the one brand that will ensure that hackers won’t be able to get to the sensitive data you’ve been entrusted with.  But the truth is there is no one brand -- just like you can’t claim a Ferrari is better than a Maserati, or vice versa:  Once you get to the top, opinions diverge on what is the best; however, you know that a Ferrari is better than a Ford Pinto, and so it is for encryption products.  So the question is not so much “what is the best encryption software” as “which are the better encryption software packages out there?”

Best Encryption Software - A Couple Of Considerations

The security afforded by encryption software comes from two things: the encryption algorithm (or formula) and the encryption key

First of all, you’ll want some type of product that uses widely-accepted encryption algorithms.  It turns out that it’s incredibly difficult to encrypt data in a secure manner.  Many encryption algorithms have been proposed over the years, and most have been found to have flaws in them, making a data breach a (short) matter of time.  However, some encryption methods have resisted all sorts of attacks to eventually become standards in the cryptographic community.  Two of these algorithms, already incorporated and used in AlertBoot encryption suites, are RSA and AES.

You’ll want to make sure the company you go with are using these, or other widely approved, algorithms to power their encryption software.  Beware of any encryption products that use in-house developed encryption algorithms.  Chances are these haven’t been attacked (or as the professionals say, vetted) as thoroughly as the two mentioned above -- in fact, they’re still being attacked to test their efficacy -- so one day you may find out that your data is compromised despite employing what your vendor calls an encryption package.

The second thing to consider is the encryption key length.  An encryption key is, basically speaking, a string of random characters that may include letters, numbers, and special characters.  The security of any encryption product ultimately comes from the key length, assuming the algorithm is rock-solid, like the two mentioned above.  The longer the key length, the more secure the encryption is going to be.

Modern computers, due to their processing speed and power, are able to render certain key lengths useless via a technique known as “brute force attacks,” where the attacker tries to guess what the key is.

For example, in the past, Microsoft Word gave you the option of encrypting documents, for free.  Due to restrictions regarding the export of encryption software, though, long keys were not allowed, crippling the encryption’s efficacy.   There are many copies of Word out there that use a 40-bit key.  Such protection can be defeated in 48 hours or less (there are plenty of companies that will brute force their way in, at a price…guaranteed).

This problem is easily circumvented by using longer keys.  For example, on-line banking uses 128-bit keys, and even longer keys are available as well.  Make sure the encryption software you go with offers at least 128-bit keys.  That's the minimum you should ask for in this day and age.

[Note: The true representation of these key lengths are 2^128 (two to the power of 128) and 2^40.  In other words, 128-bits is not three times the protection of 40-bits, but more like 3 followed by 26 zeros worth of protection.  As a quick reminder, I'd like to point out that a trillion only has 12 trailing zeros…that's a lot of protection.]

Other Things To Consider When Looking For That “Best Encryption Software” - Passwords

Once you’ve sifted through different encryption products, it’s time to look at other details.  The third factor that is extremely important in encryption is your password.  A password is necessary because, well, you want to have to access to your own data, right?  But, if your password is easy to guess, then the strongest encryption software in the world won’t protect your data.

Any encryption software that is worth its mettle will allow you to control what type of password is allowed.  For example, you know a long, alphanumeric password (TheBestPasswordInTheWorld42222*22221) is better than a string of letters (mypassword).  So, you may want the software to disallow passwords that are less than six characters in length and force users to add at least one number.  Other password creation restrictions include:

  • Preventing the use of palindromes
  • The username being used as a password
  • Forcing users to change passwords on a scheduled period
  • Locking out users if the wrong password is entered more than X number of times

Not all of the above are recommended, depending on who you talk to.  Different strokes for different folks, I say.  At least, their availability is nice if you end up needing them. 

Add-Ons That Make Data Security Management Easier

Of course, encryption is not the end all, be all of data security.  Anybody who makes that claim either doesn't understand data security issues or is trying to sell you something (or both).  Vendors of data security products may offer other “amenities” to increase your organization’s data security.  Controlling the endusers' password criteria is an aspect of such a feature.

Other features may include, but not be limited to, the following:

 
<Previous Next>

File Encryption Software Could Have Helped Pulte Homes In Data Breach?

Full Disk Encryption Should Be A Requirement For UK Government Hard Drive Security? They're Losing One Computer A Day

Comments

AlertBoot Endpoint Security said:

Data security is serious business. And when people get serious, they go for the best. When people find

January 5, 2009 1:20 AM
 

What Is The Best Disk Encryption Software To Be Used As Part Of My Laptop Computer Security? - AlertBoot Endpoint Security said:

Pingback from  What Is The Best Disk Encryption Software To Be Used As Part Of My Laptop Computer Security? - AlertBoot Endpoint Security

April 18, 2009 2:51 AM
 

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.