Our TechNet Events team in the US have been talking about using BitLocker to encrypt and protect your data for the past year. During our sessions I always try to give examples of real-life scenarios of data loss or theft of laptops and drives and have talked about some of the most recent examples here in the US.
Here's yet another example, from England, where there was a theft of unencrypted USB drives that contained sensitive data. Why weren't they encrypted? In this case the logic was the drives were in a "...double-secured area" and therefore didn't need encryption. So much for that logic. The article also talks about some other data loss occurrences, including the "...loss of a memory stick containing the names and expected release dates for 84,000 prisoners" as well as "..a disk containing the names and addresses of almost 11,500 teachers". Some of the data was lost in the mail. I have two questions here, first why would anyone mail sensitive data that isn't encrypted in some fashion, and second, why would you even mail it, wouldn't it be easier, safer and more secure to transfer it on the network ?
Bottom-line to all of this is you need to protect your data!!! If you haven't put any thought into this thus far, now is the time to get something in place. If you have sensitive data in your environment, and most of us have, then you need to have processes and policies in place as well as technologies like BitLocker as part of your solution.
From the Telegraph UK: Thousands of personal files stolen from RAF base
Have a look at BeCrypt, the UK Ministry of Defence have bought heavily into their technologyafter several embarrassing data loss incidents.
I remember years ago, when I was the computer repair guy, going to RAF Benson to work on a disk drive. This was when the drives were the size of a washing machine, with removable disk platters. It was new to the job and had only been to commercial customers so far. Imagine my surprise when they told me I couldn't take the platter with me as it had to be destroyed by them. I told them.. "No, the way it works is we exchange parts, I put in a new platter for you and I take this old one away." No, they said... thats not going to happen.
I had to phone my office to make sure the RAF wasn't pulling my leg. :-)