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Doing More with PGP Whole Disk Encryption

Created: 04 Jun 2009 • Updated: 05 Nov 2012 • 2 comments
Brian Tokuyoshi's picture
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Brian Tokuyoshi - Product Marketing Manager

btokuyoshi_webfinalBy and large, the most popular use for the PGP Whole Disk Encryption product is to encrypt the primary hard drive on laptops.  This is a use case that addresses very specific requirements to prevent the loss of sensitive data on missing portable computing hardware.  With PGP Whole Disk Encryption, the laptop stays completely secure and safe from the eyes of unauthorized personnel.

Did you know that there’s a lot more that you can do with PGP Whole Disk Encryption? There are a number of additional functions that it provides to help you keep your data safe.

More than ever, companies are using electronic statements to deliver documents. As a result, employees have a number of personal documents that are stored on work computers, such as electronic 401k statements, stock option plans, health insurance paperwork, and life insurance forms.  In order to keep these documents safe, one could use the Virtual Hard Disk function from PGP Whole Disk Encryption to create a secure file system that looks just like a hard drive.  Everything placed on this virtual hard drive stays encrypted, keeping electronic documents safe.

Another situation that occurs is the growing need to share electronic documents with a second computer such as a mobile computer and desktop.  For instance, getting together the documentation to submit an expense report or to make a claim on a Heath Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account often requires transporting receipts and statements from one computer to another. USB thumb drives are quick and convenient for moving large files from one computer to another, but because they’re so small, they are also easily lost. PGP Whole Disk Encryption can encrypt the thumb drive so that it is only usable on computers with the proper keys. Even if the thumb drive is lost, the data inside cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties.

If encrypting USB thumb drives are a good idea, encrypting USB hard drives are an even better ideal.  Often USB hard drives are used to store backups and very large sets of data.  Losing a USB hard drive with an unencrypted backup image is just as bad as losing the laptop itself.  Fortunately, PGP Whole Disk Encryption lets you encrypt USB hard drives to ensure it may only be used by authorized personnel on authorized hardware.

These are just a few of the things that you can do with PGP Whole Disk Encryption.  It comes as a part of the PGP Whole Disk Encryption product, so there’s no need to purchase any additional add ons or 3rd party software.  It’s a way to get more value out of the software you’re already using to keep your laptops safe from data loss.

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dave's picture

Nice article! I simply use a USB drive that I trust, I believe that in order to really backup and encrypt your files you should think of the consequences of others finding the external encrypted USB drive.
Unfortunately, I already had an unpleasant experience with other flash drive.

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Brian Tokuyoshi's picture

Thank you for your comments, Dave. You're definitively on the right track, because an unencrypted backup drive is just as risky as an unencrypted hard drive. Maybe even more so, because you don't always know where it is on a day to day basis, and may not realize when it's missing. Someone can steal or duplicate a backup drive.

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