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password protect -- external hard drive

Posted on 2013-11-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
We have some USB external hard drives that we want password protected.

What is the BEST solution ?
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Question by:finance_teacher
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by:strivoli
strivoli earned 668 total points
ID: 39651488
BitLocker.
Please post your OS version and edition (such as 7 Professional).
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by:Giovanni Heward
ID: 39651525
I highly recommend TrueCrypt with multi-factor authentication.

Encryption Algorithms
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by:aadih
aadih earned 664 total points
ID: 39651532
You could use a product called Magiclab Software. Read about it at:

http://www.magic2003.net/ >.

Using it you can password protect external hard drive, an USB drive, or a flash drive; also you can encrypt external hard drive, an USB drive, or a flash drive.
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Giovanni Heward earned 668 total points
ID: 39651545
Bitlocker supports encrypted volumes protected with either 128-bit or 256-bit AES and optionally diffused using an algorithm called Elephant.

Magiclab Software supports 128 bits AES for its highest security level.

TrueCrypt permits cascading of strong 256-bit encryption ciphers, such as AES-Twofish-Serpent (recommended)

Meaning the Serpent layer is encrypted with a Twofish layer, which is encrypted with an AES layer.

At the end of the day these are all symmetric (private key) ciphers, meaning the protection provided is dependent upon not only how strong your private key (password) is but also how well protected that key remains.

Consider a password with sufficient haystack search depth to thwart brute force attempts.

One idea to consider is selecting a file or phrase for use as the password, and then creating a SHA256 hash against it.  You would then use the SHA256 hash as your password.

For greater security, you want to implement 2-factor authentication (something you know , something you have, or something you are)

For example, using TrueCrypt in conjunction with a password (something you know) and YubiKey (something you have).  TrueCrypt supports other options, such as tokens and smart cards.

PGP Disk Encryption is another excellent product and can provide for more centralized control.
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Expert Comment

by:madunix
ID: 39671715
BitLocker and TrueCrypt are very good, I use TrueCrypt at work for portable hard drives.
http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/supported-operating-systems
http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/sys-encryption-supported-os
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