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Encrypt Your USB Flash Drive

written by: Steve Mallard•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/4/2011

Encryption plays a major role in the security of any organization. One of the biggest nightmares IT personnel face is the use of flash drives. These thumbdrives (flash drives) are often lost with personal and confidential information.

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    Encrypting a USB Flash Drive

    Encypting your flash drive is a necessary step in protecting the assets of your company and client information.

    Start with an empty Flash Drive or move your data to your harddrive.

    Download and install TrueCrypt (www.truecrypt.org)

    Click 'create volume' to create a standard TrueCrypt volume.

    Click 'select device' - choose your USB flash drive, highlight it and click OK.

    Click 'next' to see the encryption algorithms. When you set the password, remember it! If you don't, you will lose access to your data.

    Copy any data you have to your harddrive. Note: If you fail to do this, you will delete (destroy) your data.

    Moving your mouse over the 'next dialogue' will set a random starting point for the TrueCrypt encryption, then click 'format' to format the flash drive. (Again, this will destroy any data you have.)

    Once the drive is encrypted, you can access your Flash Drive by clicking 'select device' or 'select file' (depending on your setup) in TrueCrypt and choose your flash drive.

    Select 'mount' enter your password and the Flash Drive will appear in explorer.

    Click 'dismount' to remove the drive.

    You now have a an encrypted USB Flash Drive.

    Protection of these devices are one of the most critical security issues faced by Information Technology professionals. Truecrypt is one of many programs available to protect this data. While easy to use for most end-users, training is an essential part of security. The IT/IS department should offer encryption and training for the end-user in the enterprise. Step by step technical documents should be given to the end-user. All of the information above should be in the Policy and Procedures to insure security compliance.

    Policies on removable storage should prohibit the use of personal flashdrives. Only key personnel in any organization should have the 'right' to use a flash drive.

    Note:This installation is assuming you have truecrypt on your harddrive. You can walk through the wizard and create a portable drive so that it contains the truecrypt files and the autorun.inf.

    Resource: www.truecrypt.org

    http://www.wsmv.com/education/17464384/detail.html

    Another great program to encrypt your thumbdrive (flashdrive) is Safehouse