One of the easiest and most easily overlooked ways for data thieves to get a hold of your data is simply to break into the building where the computer is located and steal the hard drive. Portable devices like USB drives, mobile phones and laptops are also regularly left behind on trains or stolen by pickpockets.
Encrypting your data can mitigate these losses by making it completely impossible for unauthorised persons to access the data on those devices.
In order to completely cover your data, encryption must be applied at several levels:
- Full Disk Encryption – This encrypts the Operating System itself as well as any files stored by the user in their home folder. Some phones have this feature and it can be applied to all desktop Operating Systems.
- External Storage – We recommend volume based encryption for backups on external hard drives, and either volume based or file level encryption for files stored on temporary USB drives. Keeping offsite backups of vital data is essential for the ability to recover from a loss of data, either through ransomware, hardware failure or theft.
- Communications and File Transfers – Encryption options are available to protect the contents of instant messages, emails, voice calls, internet access and file transfers.