Value-added resellers (VARs) and security consultants can get the tools and tricks they need to effectively use BitLocker on their customers' Windows Vista system, from the basics to common misconceptions to configuration and encryption techniques.
Rarely does a month go by without a news report about a company or government agency that suffers some kind of loss in the form of a stolen laptop or PC. Often the theft is nothing more than an attempt to resell the hardware for fast cash, but sometimes it's a specific attempt to steal highly sensitive data.
Computers with hardware-level encryption built in can make such data theft prohibitively difficult. But such machines are expensive, and they are not always a practical solution.
Make sure you understand the basics of BitLocker.
BitLocker Drive Encryption, the security feature touted in Windows Vista, is sparking controversy. Some of the furor is predicated on misinformation about what BitLocker really is or how it is to be used, or how it might be possible to perform an end-run around it.
Learn more about BitLocker's take on key escrow systems, parallel copies and how it fares against the competition.
BitLocker, a function available in Microsoft's Vista Enterprise and Ultimate versions, let you encrypt on a system drive, something that wasn't possible in previous versions of Windows without a third-party product. Typically, in order to use BitLocker, you need a system with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware, version 1.2 or better -- something that a number of PC manufacturers are now starting to supply, albeit at additional cost. But what if you want to use BitLocker on a system that doesn't have a TPM?
About the author
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!
This was first published in May 2007