Hard Drive Data Encryption - A Good and Bad Thing at The Same Time
Encrypting your storage device can be both a good and bad idea. It can be good because the data on the hard drive, of which, can be anything from family photos, to accounting information integral for the running of your business and could be privileged information that only needs to be seen by certain people. But it can also be bad because in the situation where you need the data recovering it can be very difficult to get the data back if the drive is in a bad state.
For the home user that stores all their family photos on a storage device, encryption isn’t lawfully needed as there is no reason for it to be protected from the public. However, a business owner who is storing documents with his financial information on an external storage device, encryption is virtually a necessity.
The fundamental problem with encrypting a drive, especially if it fails, is that it can be incredibly difficult to recover the data from the device if for example the device has been dropped and is mechanically failed, or if there is a mass build-up of bad sectors. If here at R3 cannot read the sectors that contain the encryption information, there is simply no way of getting the data of off the device. The sectors which contain that encryption information are always needed when recovery from a software encrypted drive. It is slightly different if it is a hardware encrypted drive. If the sectors cannot be read there is no way of finding out what encryption software has been used, or even the option to be able to unencrypt the storage device.
Another problem is if the user has forgotten the password they used for the encryption, if the password is forgotten then there is no way of retrieving the password from anywhere, even the companies that create the encryption software are not able to get the password back for you. The only way to find out is to guess and that isn’t always wise as some encryptions are set up in a way that if you get the password wrong too many times the drive will be wiped and data recovery is impossible. This is good if someone else steals possession of your drive and they try to gain access, but when you need data recovery and need the data of off the drive it’s not the same.
Not all encryptions allow you to put a password in, when setting up the encryption it will give you a key. In the circumstances where you need the password to decrypt the drive, you have to put the key in a bit of software that will give you the decryption password. However, if the user loses the key, they are in the same situation they would be if they lost/forgot their password.
Furthermore, encryption can be a good thing to someone that has multiple copies of their data, just in off chance that they do lose or forget the password, or the hard drive mechanically fails they will always have a backup. However, it’s not always good if you only have one copy and something like this happens it can be disastrous.
R3 Data Recovery is real lab that deals with real disasters each an every day. If you have RAID that has failed or any data storage device, we are the people to contact. Call us today on 0800 999 3282 for immediate help and assistance.
When my external backup drive failed I feared many years of documents were lost. Not only were the files recovered but presented back in their original folders so they could be easily reviewed and restored to my system. Sensitive documents were dealt with confidentially. Excellent timely service.
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