Data protection has never been more important for businesses of all sizes. Hardly a day goes by without word of yet another data breach, another stolen laptop and yet another PR nightmare for the business involved.

If you want to protect yourself, your data and your business, you need to take security seriously, and that starts with enterprise-level encryption. Solid encryption is a must for mobile devices, including the laptops your sales staff uses while on the road. That’s where BitLocker comes in.

What is BitLocker?

This proprietary encryption program is designed for business use, and it is an essential tool in your IT security arsenal.

Designed to be used seamlessly with Windows-based computers, BitLocker can encrypt the entire hard drive, rendering the files on it useless to a thief while allowing legitimate users to fully access the data they need.

That protection is certainly vital in today’s dangerous cyber world, but BitLocker can do more than just encrypt files – this powerful program also provides protection against unauthorized changes to the operating system, including firmware changes. This is particularly valuable, since many recent malware infections work by surreptitiously updating the firmware on targeted devices.

A Versatile (and Free) Tool

BitLocker comes free with Windows 10, so business users will not incur any additional expenses when using it. And while the BitLocker tool is free, it is also extremely valuable and versatile.

With BitLocker, users can encrypt the hard drives on their desktops, laptops and servers. This device-level encryption is a powerful security tool, but it is arguably most useful for mobile devices, especially laptops.

If a thief steals one of your company laptops, they will no doubt try to access the files it contains. They may even remove the hard drive and try to read it on a third-party device, but with BitLocker in place that access will be blocked.

HIPAA and Banking Compliant

Certain businesses, including firms subject to HIPAA regulations and companies doing business in the banking sector, are required by law to encrypt their data. When used as part of an overall security strategy, BitLocker allows those businesses to stay compliant and avoid possible penalties.

BitLocker can also provide additional protection from ransomware, but businesses should not rely on this one program alone. Some strains of ransomware can work their way around BitLocker, so use it as a small part of a larger data protection strategy. Other parts of that strategy should include a robust backup plan, ongoing employee training and executive awareness.

BitLocker works by using a 200-digit key. That key is associated with a user on the network, and once it is enabled, the user does not have to worry about it again. The network administrator can track the keys and keep all relevant information. If a user needs to recover a particular key, they can do so through the administrator.

How to Manage BitLocker

BitLocker is a powerful tool for data protection and encryption, but it is only as effective as the processes you put in place. In order for BitLocker to do its job, all vulnerable devices, including mobile computers, must be fully encrypted.

Running ongoing scans for unencrypted mobile devices can help you manage BitLocker more effectively, so nothing slips through the cracks and no proprietary data leaks from your organization. If you need help developing a sound plan for hard drive encryption and mobile device protection, Ontech Systems is always just a phone call away at 262-522-8560.

Does BitLocker Affect Performance?

When used as intended, BitLocker should not negatively impact the performance of your laptops and other computers. It does take time for the BitLocker process to run, so it is important to schedule the installation accordingly.

If you do notice issues with performance on devices running BitLocker encryption, it is important to find the root cause. Preexisting malware infections, undetected problems with the operating system, and other issues could cause performance to deteriorate.

If you need help installing, maintaining or working with BitLocker, you do not have to go it alone. BitLocker is a powerful tool, but making the most of it is not always easy.

For help with all your BitLocker related issues, just give Ontech Systems a call or send us an email. We are happy to assist you, so you can enjoy secure hard drive encryption and the peace of mind that comes with it.

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