Best Practices: PGP WDE - PGP Desktop 10
|Article:TECH149543|||||Created: 2009-09-10|||||Updated: 2012-06-19|||||Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH149543|
This article details the best practices to use prior to performing PGP Whole Disk Encryption.
PGP Corporation recommends the following best practices for preparing to encrypt your disk with PGP WDE. Please follow the recommendations below to protect your data during and after encryption. Before you encrypt your disk, there are a few tasks you must perform to ensure successful initial encryption of the disk.
1. Determine whether your target disk is supported.
PGP WDE feature protects desktop or laptop disks (either partitions, or the entire disk), external disks, and USB flash disks. CD-RW/DVD-RWs and servers are not supported.
Supported Disk Types
- Desktop or laptop disks, including solid-state drives (either partitions, or the entire disk).
- External disks.
- USB flash disks.
|Note: Beginning with version 10 of PGP Desktop, PGP Whole Disk Encryption is supported on Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP1 & SP2, and Windows Server 2008 R2. PGP WDE supports internal system RAID-1 and RAID-5. Software RAID is not supported.|
Unsupported Disk Types
- Server hardware using software RAID.
- Dynamic disks.
- Diskettes and CD-RW/DVD-RWs.
- Music devices and digital cameras.
- Advanced Format Drives using 4k native sectors (512e compatible drives are supported in this mode)
- GPT partitioned Windows drives (Drives over 2TB are partitioned GPT due to size limitation on NTFS partition)
|Warning: Windows XP allows basic disks to be converted to dynamic disks, which support some features that basic disks do not. Never perform this conversion on the boot drive of a system that has already been protected using PGP Whole Disk Encryption. This conversion, from a basic-type disk to a dynamic one, renders the drive unusable.|
2. Confirm keyboard support.
Be sure that you are using a keyboard with one of the supported languages. For a list of the supported languages click here and select the correct version of PGP Desktop user's guide
3. Back up the disk before you encrypt it.
Before you encrypt your disk, be sure to back it up so that you wont lose any data if your laptop or computer is lost, stolen, or you are unable to decrypt the disk.
4. Ensure the health of the disk before you encrypt it.
It is not uncommon to encounter Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) errors while encrypting a hard disk. In stand-alone installations of PGP Desktop, if PGP WDE encounters a hard drive or partition with bad sectors, PGP WDE will, by default, pause the encryption process. This pause allows you to remedy the problem before continuing with the encryption process, thus avoiding potential disk corruption and lost data.
In PGP Universal Server managed environments, if PGP WDE encounters a hard drive or partition with bad sectors, PGP WDE will log an event in the server logs and continue disk encryption.
Before you attempt to use PGP WDE, use a third-party scan disk utility that has the ability to perform a low-level integrity check and repair any inconsistencies with the drive that could lead to CRC errors. Third-party software such as SpinRite or Norton Disk Doctor can correct errors that would disrupt the encryption of the disk.
|Note: As a best practice, highly fragmented disks should be defragmented before you attempt to encrypt the disk.|
5. Create a recovery disk.
While the chances are extremely low that a master boot record could become corrupt on a boot disk or partition protected by PGP Whole Disk Encryption, it is possible. Before you encrypt a boot disk or partition using PGP Whole Disk Encryption, create a recovery disk.
6. Be certain that you will have AC power for the duration of the encryption process.
Because encryption is a CPU-intensive process, encryption cannot begin on a laptop computer that is running on battery power.
Do not remove the power cord from the system before the encryption process is over. If loss of power during encryption is a possibility or if you do not have an uninterruptible power supply for your computer consider choosing the Power Failure Safety option.
7. If encrypting a Laptop set the Power Management options to Performance/Always On.
Almost all laptops are configured to use the Power Save or Balanced modes of Power Management. This can cause the CPU and Hard Disk to throttle back as well as hibernate to conserve energy. The problem with this is that it can either extend or interrupt the Whole Disk Encryption process making it progress much more slowly.
To ensure maximum speed for encryption we recommend changing the Power Management profile to be Performance or Always On for the duration of the encryption process.
Please consult your Laptop Manufacturers Documentation or the Help section of your Operating System for steps on modifying these settings.
8. Run a pilot test to ensure software compatibility.
As a good security practice, PGP Corporation recommends testing PGP WDE on a small group of computers to ensure that PGP WDE is not in conflict with any software on the computer before rolling it out to a large number of computers. This is particularly useful in environments that use a standardized Corporate Operating Environment (COE) image.
The following software is not compatible with PGP WDE:
- Faronics Deep Freeze (any edition)
- Utimaco Safeguard Easy 3.x
- Absolute Software's CompuTrace laptop security and tracking product. PGP Whole Disk Encryption is compatible only with the BIOS configuration of CompuTrace. Using CompuTrace in MBR mode is not compatible.
- Hard disk encryption products from GuardianEdge Technologies: Encryption Anywhere Hard Disk and Encryption Plus Hard Disk products, formerly known as PC Guardian products.
The following programs co-exist with PGP Whole Disk Encryption on the same system, but will block the PGP Whole Disk Encryption feature:
- Safeboot Solo
- SecureStar SCPP
9. Perform Disk Recovery on Decrypted Disks.
Where possible, as a best practice, if you need to perform any disk recovery activities on a disk protected with PGP Whole Disk Encryption (WDE), PGP Corporation recommends that you first decrypt the disk. Do this by Disk > Decrypt in PGP Whole Disk Encryption, using your prepared PGP WDE Recovery Disk, or by connecting the hard disk via a USB cable to a second system and decrypting from that system's PGP Whole Disk Encryption software. Once the disk is decrypted, proceed with your recovery activities.
|Warning: Do not attempt to decrypt the drive more than once using the recovery disk - doing so will cause file corruption and make any data on the drive unrecoverable.|
Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH149543