There are plenty of ways to secure data and all have pretty acronyms: Full Disk Encryption (FDE), File and Folder Encryption (FFE), Removable Media Encryption (RME) and so on. These three are the ‘meat’ of any good encryption solution. The question an organization has to ask itself is – which is best for me?
It’s an honest question and one that should be asked. Generally speaking, FDE is the most commonly selected solution – it’s safe, practical and very easy to implement and manage. With FDE there’s very little to worry about, the entire disk is encrypted, every portion of the hard drive is protected whether data resides there or not. This includes files, folders, the Operating System (OS) and space that isn’t used yet.
And this is really the key to FDE – every portion/sector/area of the hard drive is encrypted. Some solutions will not encrypt the OS or will only encrypt areas of a hard drive that have data stored on them. Neither solution is ideal when compared with proper FDE. If partial file protection is what is required, FFE is likely the better route to follow.
While FFE also ensures critical files and folders are encrypted, it has its weaknesses. FEE is susceptible to user error and generally speaking, is more complex to manage than a traditional FDE solution. However, FFE can be a much more ‘secure’ solution than traditional FDE when you look at how granular you can get with controlling information and how it’s secured.
Now both of these solutions are fantastic ways to secure sensitive organizational information, but what happens when that information needs to be shared either internally or externally? If that’s a requirement, then RME is an ideal add-on solution. A RME policy, incorporated as part of an overall data security solution, ensures things like accidental data leakage doesn’t happen. It ensures all removable media is encrypted when used whether it’s a USB key, external hard drive, CD/DVD etc. It gets locked down and helps to avoid situations like the loss of the personal information of 583,000 Canada Student Loan borrowers.
No matter what the requirement is, the good news is that we have a solution that will address it – SecureDoc.