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USB Thumb Drive Encryption Catch 22

SuperCharlie (1068072) writes | more than 6 years ago

Security 2

SuperCharlie (1068072) writes "Working at a University and with the increasing amount of security break ins, lost data and the real potential for massive identity theft due to the data that my departments deal with, we have decided to implement a USB thumb drive encryption policy.

After two days of trying many many free and paid software solutions I am finding that there is a real problem in usability and portability of encrypted data on USB drives. The goal is to provide a seamless, easy way for users to simply drag and drop their files.

Every solution I have come across so far either requires an administrator to install the file system level drivers or leaves the data un-encrypted until it is specifically selected and encrypted. Neither of these solutions will work as I know my users and when they bring their PowerPoint slides to remote locations they will not have administrator access and relying on them to manually select and encrypt/decrypt files is simply not going to happen.

Are there any solutions where a user can simply plug in the USB drive, put in their password, and drag and drop encrypted files?"

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Truecrypt (1)

simplykaotic (1167353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270803)

give TrueCrypt ( [] ) a try, it does many different encryptions, and supports full disk encryption they might have a version that goes on usb keys, but i've always used the installed one personally

Maybe encryption is not right for you (1)

Erpo (237853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271933)

Either it's worth it for you to get your users to encrypt individual files one by one or it isn't. If it isn't worth it, maybe encryption is not right for you.

That said, if your computers are running Linux with a recent version of GNOME and you stick in a LUKS-encrypted USB thumbdrive, GNOME will prompt the user for the password and then mount the decrypted volume. It essentially works the same way as Truecrypt, but support is built into the OS.

You can mount LUKS volumes on Windows using the FreeOTFE provided that Windows will understand the filesystem inside the LUKS container (i.e. you want FAT32). The downside on Windows systems is that FreeOTFE definitely requires admin privileges to install drivers the first time it's used, and the UI was significantly less friendly than Truecrypt the last time I played with it.
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