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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.

Laptop Encryption Software: Police Cruiser Computer Data Was Protected With Encryption

A computer used in a police cruiser was stolen while the vehicle was parked outside a car dealership in New Hampshire.  Initially, the police department noted that there was a minimal chance of a data breach because the computer's batteries were so old that the laptop wouldn't boot up properly.  Later they updated their statement, noting that the information on the device was protected with laptop encryption software.

They Don't Have the Power Cord

The marked, brand-new cruiser was parked outside the Portsmouth Chevrolet.  That's oddity #1 because the police vehicle was a Ford Police Interceptor.  On the other hand, it was taken in for "work on decorative trim," according to seacoastonline.com.  I guess you could do that anywhere, really.

Oddity #2 is the following statement from the police chief:

The police chief said he's been advised that it's unlikely anyone could access personal information stored on the stolen laptop because the battery is so old it barely functions without a companion power cord. [my emphasis]

Yes, he was ridiculed for that particular statement.  After all, there is no reason why the thief or thieves couldn't buy another power cord.  Or another battery for that matter. Or, even pop out the hard drive and connect it to another computer (either as a primary drive or a slave drive).

Encryption Software Used

The police chief had some better news a couple of days later:

[Police Chief] Tretter told the Herald that during the course of an investigation into last week's laptop theft, security measures have been studied, and he's been advised that the computer is password protected and the data is encrypted to prevent the leak of sensitive information.

Now, I'm not quite sure if the above means that disk encryption like AlertBoot was used to secure the content stored on the entire laptop (the password prompt for disk encryption is similar to the average password-protection prompt, which is not very secure), or that the computer had password-protection and that files with sensitive data were encrypted (which uses file encryption).  The former prevents unauthorized access to the computer, whereas the latter secures individual files only, allowing people with the right skills to access the laptop and any unprotected content.

Regardless, from a data security standpoint, the fact that encryption software was used at all is welcome news.  Certainly beats the "battery's dying" method of securing data.  (In all the years I've covered data security news, this is possibly the most bone-headed statement I've heard.)


Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110504-NEWS-110509918
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110507/NEWS/105070328/-1/NEWSMAP
http://www.databreaches.net/?p=18152
http://www.wmur.com/r/27788241/detail.html

 
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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.