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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.

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.

Pros And Cons Of Data Encryption and Protection

An odd title for a slam-dunk topic, no?  I would never have thought that data encryption software like AlertBoot could, in theory, have a contra associated with it.  However, it turns out that plenty of people are searching about the "pros and cons of encryption."  So, I've decided to take a look at the issue.

The Pros of Data Encryption

The purpose of encryption is keeping information secret.  And it does it very, very well.  In fact, it's so good at keeping things secret that the US has one organization dedicated to trying to break encryption: the National Security Agency.  That's all they do, supposedly.  So, there's that--encryption keeps your information secret.

I can't think of any other arguments for encryption--data protection is it.  There's also the fact that encryption is now easy, since a computer can do the grunt work--it's just a matter of the user clicking a bunch of buttons.  Also, modern encryption software packages have given a lot of thought to usability, so, among other things, one can specify whether multiple people can access an encrypted file while restricting others from that same file.  However, these functionalities are auxiliary in nature: they make the use of encryption easier for the enduser; it doesn't add anything to arguments as to why something should be encrypted to begin with.

The argument for encryption still lies on the reason why it was invented: it protects data.  And if you haven't been living in a cage for the past 5 years, you know why that is important. 

The Cons of Data Encryption

What are encryption's downsides?  None, at first glance.  There is the problem of maintaining encryption, though.

The sole purpose of encrypting information is so one can decrypt it when needed.  Otherwise, why encrypt the data--you'd be better off deleting it.  However, decrypting information requires two things: one, the username and password, and two, the encryption key--and this needs to be maintained.

Generally, endusers don't deal with "encryption keys," which is what encryption software uses to encrypt and decrypt data.  These are so long, and so random, that using the keys to access and scramble data would be overbearing, which is why we have the passwords.

These keys are also the reason why encryption works: attacking these keys directly would require decades to break.  And, if you lose these keys…well, it would take decades to access your data (and you'd require all the world's computing power to be dedicated to it.  So, realistically speaking, your data's gone).

The management of keys is not difficult, though.  You can write them down and store them in a safe place, like a bank's deposit box, if you're paranoid enough.  Or, you can copy it to an external drive--if you're foolhardy.  The crucial point is to ensure that you can find it while hiding it from others.  You can even go with a managed encryption service that would ensure that these keys are backed up and kept in a safe place.

I guess, in hindsight, the arguments against encryption also comes from the fact that the information is kept secret.

There are other arguments against encryption as well, but as the link shows, there are solutions for these as well.

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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.