File and Disk Encryption

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The ongoing failure of enterprises to encrypt sensitive data stored on laptops and other mobile devices is dangerous and irresponsible. Data compromises involving lost or stolen laptops, encrypted storage disks and other mobile devices account for a substantial portion of modern breaches.

“There really is no excuse for not encrypting laptops” said Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory firm.

Under Pressure

The nonprofit consumer advocacy group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse maintains statistics which indicate that about 30 of the 144 most significant data breaches announced in 2011 involved portable devices. Nevertheless a distressingly large numbers of companies continue to ignore or postpone the implementation of necessary precautions; some because they are unwilling to spend the money and others because of the perceived complexity involved with encryption.

The Emperor’s New Security

Modern operating systems enable users to create a system of accounts and passwords to limit access to data on a computer; somewhat useful when adversaries have casual or passing access to a device but totally inadequate for protecting data in the event that a machine is lost, stolen, seized, or even if the adversaries have more than a minute or two alone with the computer.

Access Granted

There are many effective techniques to gain access to a file system; enabling an adversary to download important personal information if it is not encrypted. Common methods include plugging the hard disk into another computer, or booting another operating system using a CD or USB key allowing files to be read off the disk; even files which have been deleted can be recoverable.

Need to Proceed

File and disk encryption provided by Advanced Directions Technologies ensures that even in the event someone steals a laptop or PC the files onboard, including all sensitive data would be unreadable. Any company of reasonable size should recognize the risks and realize an actionable and mature solution such as Advanced Directions PKI technology.


The public key infrastructure system encrypts files using a series of symmetric key algorithms such as DES or AES. The operating system is encrypted with the users ™ unique personal key so that only the holder of the token, the device proprietor can decrypt the data.