Mobile Security Using BitLocker on Laptops

One of the most common -- and challenging -- issues facing mobile IT managers is laptop security. BitLocker can help: instead of encrypting individual files and folders, it encrypts the complete hard drive.

The loss or theft of a laptop is an all-too-frequent occurrence. Whether it’s swiped from the trunk of a car, absentmindedly left in the back seat of a cab, or vanishes amid the confusion of a busy airport security check-in, it usually means that an expensive piece of equipment will never be seen again.

But the value of the hardware may pale in comparison to that of the data that resides on it, especially if the data’s of a sensitive nature, such as confidential company plans or client contact information. If your laptop’s running either the Ultimate or Enterprise editions of Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can take advantage of the BitLocker feature to encrypt the hard drive via 128-bit AES, ensuring that even if the laptop is lost or stolen, valuable data will be safe from prying eyes.

How Laptop Security, Mobile Security Works with BitLocker

In contrast to Windows Encrypting File System (EFS), which encrypts individual files and folders, BitLocker encrypts the entire hard drive--the operating system (including the hibernation and paging files) along with all applications and data. As a result, it provides a level of protection far beyond what you get from standard Windows account authentication or NTFS file permissions. Before attempting to activate BitLocker, it’s important to determine whether your laptop has an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which is available on various business-focused laptops from vendors like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. Having a TPM-equipped laptop maximizes security by eliminating the possibility that someone might suss out a Bitlocker encryption key by attempting to circumvent the Windows boot process (e.g. by accessing the hard drive via specialized utilities and/or from another computer).

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Increase Laptop Security with BitLocker


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