Disk encryption for Mac OS X

Sophos announced SafeGuard Disk Encryption for Mac, which protects against data breaches of confidential and private information on MacBooks and Macs.

Today, businesses are increasingly adding more Macs to their network. It’s not just small businesses, graphic design agencies, and academic institutions using Mac computers. According to a recent Gartner report, IT departments at mid-to-large companies are feeling the pressure to accommodate employees and contractors who purchase Mac computers with their personal funds and want to incorporate them into their daily work lives.

Like PC users, Mac users store confidential company data, personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit and debit card numbers, dates of birth, and financial information. However, the data stored on Macs often does not have the same level of protection that PCs have, which could put companies at risk.

The loss of PII – whether accidental or intentional – can have far-reaching negative effects. If unencrypted data were intercepted or fell into the wrong hands – cybercriminals, disgruntled employees, or competitors – it could be devastating to a business. Customers would lose confidence, which translates to lost business, likely followed by negative press and fines for noncompliance.

Many organizations are required to comply with a number of regulations and standards seeking to protect PII, including the Data Protection Act and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). If a breach of any magnitude occurs as a result of not having data encrypted, the company will face penalties and fines, legal action, and potential criminal charges.

Sophos SafeGuard Full-Disk Encryption for Mac features include:

  • Sector-based encryption of disk volumes, including the Mac OS boot volume and data volumes, and strong, standardized AES 256-bit encryption algorithm, and optimized encryption/decryption algorithms for performance.
  • Sophos’s power-on user authentication (POA) which ensures that only authorized users are allowed access to encrypted data and multi-user POA provides security for shared Macs. Encrypted data cannot be accessed even if hard drives are removed from Macs – only authorized users or security administrators can open and view.
  • Authorized administrators can quickly view the status via the Mac-friendly graphical interface and authorized access can be automated via a simple scripting command for larger organizations. Sophos provides visibility for administrators with logs detailing encryption status and user interactions during the POA process, including failed logon attempts.
  • On-the-fly encryption and decryption process is quick and fully transparent to the end user, which allows them to go about their daily activities without interruptions.
  • Advanced one-time credentials and alternate boot options allow authorized users who have lost or forgotten passwords to securely access the system and renew those passwords. Administrators can also create a recovery POA on a USB or CD to securely boot and access encrypted data on Macs in emergencies.
  • Sophos SafeGuard Full-Disk Encryption for Mac deploys with a very small client installation file for easier distribution and is compatible with any existing Mac system administration tools including Apple Remote Desktop. It also offers simple and flexible administration options for local or remote administration with easy-to-implement scripting commands.

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