Mobile computing is great as it increases productivity by leaps and bounds. But like everything else, it also brings with it serious security risks. Securing confidential information on portable platforms such as laptops and netbooks is one of the biggest issues the IT industry is dealing with today. These are the most vulnerable devices and no matter how careful the owner may be, there is always a major chance of information leak in case of laptop theft or loss. Though you can secure private information in many ways by using passwords, personal firewalls and so on, the best and safest method still continues to be laptop encryption.
Laptop theft leads to crippling loss of the user’s personal data. Depending on the organization the user works for, this could result in leakage of national security secretes, authoritative records, original source code and even patents. Laptop encryption can help these individuals and companied avoid associated security risks. There are two types of approaches to this. They are software-based disk and hardware-based disk encryption.
Software-based full disk encryption
This concept has been around for quite a while now. Though it is effective, it has not been adopted on a large scale, as this technique of encryption can prove cumbersome at the enterprise level. The performance that software disk encryption provides is short of optimal and have much slower throughput than those encrypted by hardware.
This technique brings with it other issues too. Rebooting the system after encryption takes a little longer than hardware disk encryption. Also, the keys that are primarily employed for encryption are stored in dynamic RAM, which means that it could be accessed by someone smart enough to do so. This defeats the entire purpose of encryption.
Hardware-based full disk encryption
This is much more popular today than the former, as it scores much higher performance and efficiency-wise. This technique guarantees fast, in fact, almost instantaneous, encryption. This does not take the time software disk encryption does.
Moreover, system employing hardware-based disk encryption use only one authentication password before launching reboot. Only that password gives the user access to the data within the laptop. Otherwise, the data is completely inaccessible to anyone else, no matter what method they may use to reach their goal. Hence, hardware-based disk encryption guarantees that the information inside a stolen or lost laptop remains totally secure.
Hardware-based laptop encryption takes only about a couple of seconds longer to reboot after the encryption process. Also, users can never even tell the difference in the encrypted laptop. In case the user forgets his/her password, the IT admin will be able to access the ERAS or the Embassy Remote Admin Server and give them an emergency password.
Moreover, once the hardware-based disk encryption has been carried out, vendors such as Wave Systems can easily restore the user’s files from their backup to a new laptop as and when the user is ready to do so.
Top vendors for laptop encryption
Top vendors providing laptop encryption services include Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung and Hitachi. All these companies have now started offering hardware-based self-encrypting drives.
Hardware-based full disk encryption is here to stay today, as it offers the user much more in terms of safety, security and efficiency. Check out your encryption options online and choose the best laptop encryption product for you.