Private health provider encrypts all laptops

Private health provider Care UK is the latest firm to go ‘all encrypted', securing its entire fleet of 500 laptops using Becrypt's whole-disk encryption program.

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Private health provider Care UK is the latest firm to go ‘all encrypted', securing its entire fleet of 500 laptops using Becrypt's whole-disk encryption program.

The company will now use the security vendor's DISK Protect software loaded on to laptops and PDAs in conjunction with the Enterprise manager to lock down laptops through a range of features, including the encryption itself being ‘transparent' to the end user.

Becrypt also touts the software as secure during laptop hibernation and when decommissioning machines. Multiple users can securely access partitions on the same machine.

The obvious motivation was to meet NHS data protection requirements, which are a growing worry for private contractors supplying services to the public sector, in this case care home management and walk-in health centres.

"For companies like Care UK, it is important for security solutions to fit into existing IT infrastructures whilst being straightforward for employees to use. Becrypt's solutions are easily scalable and ensure data is protected whilst employees are working remotely," said Becrypt's CEO, Bernard Parsons.

The choice of Becrypt DISK Protect by Care UK from a shortlist that included two rivals gives some clues to the slow but steady uptake of encryption. Ultimately, encryption on laptops is likely to take off as a standard business feature by integrating it at hard drive level, but this has been slow to take off. It also costs a lot more and limits the number of management consoles than can be used.

Laptop and smartphone security is a booming mini-sector, driven by an epidemic of thefts and paranoia over daya security.

Edinburgh outfit TenBu recently launched a proximity tag that reduces the chances of the machine being lost or stolen in the first place. If the machine moves beyond a specified distance from a keytag, an alarm sounds.

If the machine does disappear, Absolute Software's LoJack system can be used to track the machine if it connects to the Internet or even issue a command that ‘locks' it completely.

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