Feature

TrueCrypt an open source laptop encryption choice for SMBs

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Here's an important encryption algorithm for you to memorize:
PD – (p0l1cy & enc) = br3ach

Just kidding; the translated version may be less silly, but no less accurate: Portable devices without clear policy and encryption enabled may well lead to a data breach.

A June 2008 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Dell found that more than 12,000 laptops are lost by users each week as they pass through airports.

What to do? While more corporations are deploying commercial encryption solutions, it's not general practice. If you want to do something for yourself and perhaps your small business or circle of executives, consider TrueCrypt (

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www.truecrypt.org). TrueCrypt is free, open source, on-the-fly encryption software for your laptop. Using TrueCrypt, you can encrypt a dedicated space on your hard drive, a partition or the whole disk, as well as removable storage devices. TrueCrypt will help assuage your concerns about security, as well as privacy, and perhaps point your enterprise down the road of portable device best practices.


Keeping Track
Open source Adeona keeps tabs on your wandering laptop.

You've taken the steps to encrypt your data with TrueCrypt, now take the time to make use of Adeona (http://adeona. cs.washington.edu/), the open source "LoJack" for your laptop. This unique project's approach to system tracking also manages to preserve your privacy.

Only you, or someone you choose to act on your behalf, can track your laptop with Adeona. Mac users will love the fact that Adeona can make use of the built-in iSight camera and capture pictures of your laptop's thief in action.

The Adeona client uses OpenDHT to store location updates sent from your laptop and regularly monitors its location, including current IP addresses and local network topology. In order to maintain privacy during this process, Adeona utilizes cryptographic methodology to ensure that you (or your agent) are the only ones that can use the Adeona system to reveal where the device has been.

--RUSS McREE

This was first published in November 2008

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