White Papers for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
Managing Enterprise Risk With Full Disk Encrytion
Managing the risks around electronic data has become an extremely difficult and costly proposition. Information that was once carefully guarded on mainframes and other core systems is becoming widely available on personal computers. PCs—especially laptops—are highly vulnerable to theft and misuse; and yet more often than not, these devices are inadequately protected against data exposure.
While the hardware costs of replacing a personal computer may be an acceptable risk to most large organizations, the ramifications of losing intellectual property, classified information or private consumer information are far more costly. Recent changes in the legislative landscape have raised the stakes dramatically by imposing harsh penalties on organizations that fail to implement strong data security measures. Clearly, there has never been a greater imperative for enterprise organizations to improve the privacy and security of sensitive electronic information.
Encryption is a powerful tool for protecting information against unauthorized access and modification. Many organizations employ a wide array of encryption solutions to protect data in transit on the network, but what about protecting data where it spends most of its life—on hard drives and other storage media? Neither firewalls nor traffic encryption will protect that data if an attacker gains physical access to the host computer.
The best and only true way to protect data at rest on desktop and laptop PCs is to use full disk encryption. Full disk encryption does not just protect files and folders; it protects all data stored on the hard drive—including the operating system itself. As a result, full disk encryption is the most comprehensive and cost-effective method for preventing data
leakages and achieving regulatory compliance. This paper discusses the value of using encryption to manage the security, financial and legal risks associated with electronic data, as well as the advantages of full disk encryption over other approaches to encrypting data at rest.
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