06 May 2014

5 Reasons to Use Alternatives to Encrypted Portable Devices

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5 Reasons to Use Alternatives to Encrypted Portable Devices

Common User Concerns

As previously communicated, starting this month all laptops, external hard drives and USB (flash) drives that contain data related to the administration of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases must be encrypted (or the individual files on those files must be encrypted). While many Chapter 7 offices have relied on the use of portable hard drives for file storage, BMS strongly recommends that you use alternatives to backing up your sensitive data or transferring files among computers.

Forgetting your password. It is critical that you remember your password. Once this password is set and the contents of the drive are encrypted, you MUST use this password to access the machine. If you forget the password, it’s as if you’ve lost the combination to your safe and your drive, data, etc. will be inaccessible and result in a total data loss that cannot be recovered by BMS or another IT professional.

External Hard Drives Can Be Lost or Stolen. You know how easy it is to forget your phone and sunglasses; it’s just as easy to lose or forget your external hard drives – that’s why you are being required to encrypt any portable devices containing your Chapter 7 data. Once the device is gone, there is no way for you to access or retrieve those files.

Not following specific processes to access and secure your data. If you are not a very techy person, you might find the steps necessary to properly encrypt these devices difficult and confusing. The steps needed typically involve encrypting either the entire drive or just selected files. Either way, you will have to do your due diligence when accessing and saving these files in order to correctly encrypt them.

Portable drives need to travel with you. This means you have to carry your portable drive with you from place to place. As a result, these devices may get dropped, crushed or damaged in a way you cannot repair.

Hard Drives Fail. You run the risk of having your portable hard drive fail at any time. It may not even be your own doing…sometimes the encryption software just fails or the encrypted drive no longer has a bad data block. Once that happens all of your data is lost with no hope of retrieval.

As you can see, there are many unspecified risks associated with using portable storage devices. Popular alternatives include the use of Cloud-based backup services that allow you to back up your data to the Cloud or sync files across multiple devices to securely share with colleagues. Cloud services come with the added advantages of being able to be accessed anywhere an Internet connection can be made, as well as being stored on encrypted servers – one less thing to worry about.

To learn more about alternatives to using portable devices, review the following information provided last month:

Cloud-based Backup Services

Transferring Files via the Cloud