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Disk Encryption Software

Updated on August 28, 2013

What is Disk Encryption?

Disk encryption is technology which protects information. It does this by converts data into unreadable code. Disk encryption uses disk encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of data that goes on a computer disk. Having disk encryption prevents unauthorized access to your data.

Full Disk Encryption (FDE)

Full disk encryption is where software encrypts your entire hard drive which means it protects all of your data and rendering unreadable to those unauthorised to view it. These systems use strong encryption algorithms to automatically protect all data stored on computers and laptops. Compared to regular file or folder where the user has to decide which data should be encrypted full disk encryption has many more benefits.

Benefits of Full Disk Encryption:

  • Pretty much everything is encrypted including temporary files and swap space. (swap space is the area on a hard disk which is part of the Virtual Memory of your computer. Swap space temporarily holds memory pages that are inactive and are used when your computer decides it needs more physical memory for active processes and there is insufficient unused physical memory available)
  • Full disk encryption provides a greater level of security and helps against theft and loss of a computer and physical data theft.
  • Data is encrypted automatically when stored on the hard disk.

What is PGP Whole Disk Encryption?

PGP whole disk encryption is a piece of software allowing you to easily encrypt an entire hard drive on either a PC, Mac or laptop.

The software protects your data making it unreadable to unauthorised users. It modifies the boot sequence of your PC or laptop during start up. It doesn't matter whether the system is Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac or Linux as it prompts the user to add a password to access your data. As long as the correct password is added the operating system will boot up as normal

Why Disk Encryption is Important

Protecting information is so much more important these days compared to years gone by. Hackers are getting smarter and we are now working from many different mobile devices which can be easily mislaid. Also businesses are now liable for any data breaches concerning customer’s data so it’s very important data is secure and the best way to do this is with full disk encryption.

Disk encryption is also important to anyone with a computer because most of us store personal data on our computers and laptops. This information could easily get into the wrong hands. All computer systems are vulnerable to hackers and malware which some antivirus systems cannot detect. Also with more and more of us working on the move there is more chance of losing laptop and mobile devices which means loosing valuable and important data.

Cyber Attacks on the Increase

It is frightening to learn that cyber attacks on the increase, and they are targeting government systems and IT infrastructure of many businesses.

According to security software company Symantec internet users are seeing less spam which is great news, but we are seeing more targeted cyber attacks which is worrying. Mobile malware attacks grew by 58% compared with 2011, according to the report and small businesses with targeted which Symantec believe is because they don't enforce strong enough security protection compared to the larger firms.

There was a 42% rise in the number of targeted attacks, which averaged to about 116 a day. There a lot more 'watering hole attacks' which is where cybercriminals infect a web site which when clicked will expose the victims to malware as soon as they access the site.

Head of Information Security Adrian Price acknowledged the government needs to work more closely with industry and academia to ward off the increasing threats from cyber attacks.

Technologies do exist to authenticate, protect, encrypt, manage, comply and archive data and business need to be using it.

Comparison of Disk Encryption Software

TrueCrypt is free and is cleverly written with simple usability and data-protection features and is an effective way to encrypt a whole system, including the OS partition.

Those looking for Managed Encryption Services should head over to Gradian offer consultancy services, deployment, training and support.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd offers full disk encryption and also have a free compliance analysis tool.

SecurStar is another option will apparently over 5 million users.

I found this great page below which offers a comparison of disk encryption software:

What is Malware?

Malware is short for malicious software which is a general term refering to all computer viruses, worms, trojans or just intrusive software you didnt ask for. Attackers use it to gain access to your computer system and steal information or just make your life hell! It can be disguised as genuine software and be downloaded without realising, it can track your computer usage and gather useful marketing statistics.

Viruses and worms are a type of malicious software than can spread and infect other computers. A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program that clones itself over and over in order to spread to other computers. Usualy using a computer network to spread.

Another type pf malwhere is known as Spyware which is designed to monitor what you do in the internet and then display unsolicited advertisements, or redirect to affiliate marketing sites. These spyware programs are installed by expliting security holes and do not spread like viruses, but they are intrusive and annoying.

The trojan or trojan horse is malicious code but disguised as someting desirable so you download it without realising. You get a program that invites you to run it, once you do, all sorts of things can happen. It can lead to many undesirable effects such as lose of files or even more harmful malware installed.

Backdoor is the way an attacker access a computer remotly by bypassing the normal authentication procedures. Once they have found a way in 'back door', they can cause havoc by installing trojan horses or worms.

What is Cloud Based Encryption?

To understand Cloud Based Encryption you really need to understand cloud computing. Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data rather than on a local server. The "cloud" is the internet and cloud products that use the cloud which you may have heard of include Google Drive, iPlayer, Apple's iCloud, Spotify, and Sony's next PlayStation.

Cloud Based Encryption is where the encryption of the data is on the servers of a cloud provider.

Symantec PGP Whole Disk Encryption

Symantec PGP Whole Disk Encryption offers full disk encryption for desktop computers, laptops and servers. It is a multi-platform software which will encrypt all data including user files, system files, hidden files, swap files and pretty much everything.

Technical specs

  • Encrypts hard drives, USB storage devices,files and removable media.
  • Offers support for Windows, Mac OS X, Red Hat, and Ubuntu
  • Built with high performance PGP Hybrid Cryptographic Optimiser (HCO) technology with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128-bit and 256-bit encryption.
  • Web based management console.


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    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Great article on Disk Encryption. Voted up.