According to the American Bar Association's 2008 Legal Technology Survey, laptop use among lawyers has risen from 69% to 83% within the last year. As lawyers become increasingly mobile in their work habits, thieves have access to more devices full of confidential client information. IT should protect all of the firm's notebook PCs and removable storage through data encryption.
Levels of Encryption: Disk, Folder, or File
Encryption tools typically provide one or more of the following three encryption types:
- Full-disk. Everything but the master boot record is encrypted. This encryption level is the most secure, because it leaves the thief with no access to any usable data.
- Folder-based. This form of encryption designates a folder as a protected container. All files and subfolders therein are encrypted until authentication is completed. In most cases, authentication for decryption is tied to system login, so no additional passwords are required.
- File-based. These systems encrypt individual files, providing the most granular level of protection. Each file can be protected with its own password, which increases the risk of password confusion or loss.