How to Protect Your Mobile Data

In today’s workplace, it’s impossible to eliminate mobile computing devices — laptops, thumb drives, mobile phones, PDAs and iPods. However, “since California enacted a data breach notification law in 2002 (followed by 32 other states), there have been a host of embarrassing disclosures about missing computers”.

About half of the states’ breach-reporting laws give companies a way to avoid disclosing such breaches: the use of encryption on the mobile devices.

But encrypting data on mobile systems isn’t a simple task. CIOs and CISOs have found that while the technology to encrypt laptop hard drives is pretty straightforward and simple to deploy, there are several aspects of mobile security for which technology is not yet solid, particularly for protecting data on removable media and handheld devices. That’s why security leaders who have adopted encryption make sure to use other techniques — both technological and managerial — to protect their mobile data.

The first decision when implementing an encryption strategy is whether to use full-disk encryption or file-based encryption. Although most operating systems have built-in file encryption tools, this approach has a significant security flaw: It relies on users putting files in the encrypted folders.

The other option is full-disk encryption, which protects everything on the hard drive. The latest disk-encryption solutions are easy to use and are not likely to slow down performance. “Several companies — including PGP, Pointsec and GuardianEdge Technologies — provide enterprise-class full-disk encryption software that can be installed and managed using standard tools, and that works with backup software and password management systems.”

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Data encryption is important for the security of stored data. However, it is also important to use secure file removal applications. If the sensitive data was deleted from laptop or PC using unsecure operations, it can still be recovered. To protect your deleted data, you need to use specific file wiping tools.

This blog is run by authors of Shred Agent and QuickWiper.

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