Whole Disk Encryption - How would it effect files stored in OneDrive for Business

Posted on 2014-07-25
Last Modified: 2014-11-12
How would whole disk encryption effect files stored in something like the desktop installation of OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, et cetera? Especially as it pertains to having to download such files to a different computer that's not encrypted.

For example. Let's say I store data in the OneDrive for Business App on my laptop (good bad or indifferent, not arguing the point here). Let's say I also opt to do whole disk encryption on such said laptop.

Later, this laptop crashes. I install OneDrive on a new laptop, and the data downloads. Is that data usable?
Question by:Tom-J-Lael
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40221233
OneDrive doesn't use encryption, so once your data has been synched with OneDrive the data won't have any encryption on it. If you want to keep your data safe, you'd need to do this with a 3rd party tool for every file before uploading it to OneDrive. A good tool to use for this could be 7-zip, if you password protect the archive it can use encryption.

Of course you won't be able to open such files directly, you'll first have to use 7-zip again to decrypt and extract the file before you can open it within your original utility.

I don't know whether Google Drive uses encryption, but I doubt it.
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 40221277
Onedrive does use encryption. But its encryption is transparent to the user and does not interfere with the end user's full disk encryption or usage on different computers no matter if encrypted or not.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40221288
Then that must be new. It didn't use encryption from the start.
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Author Comment

ID: 40221306
My question isn't about onedrive or google drive per se. It's about how is encrypting my entire disk going to effect my data as it's uploaded into these various online systems.
LVL 55

Assisted Solution

McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 40221310
And the answer is that it doesn't matter. The local encryption is transparent to the online services and vice versa. No problems will be encountered.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Rich Rumble earned 250 total points
ID: 40221321
Agreed, the disk doesn't look any different to you when it's booted does it? Thus the information is plain-text when it's booted and in use... The only thing FDE protects you from is from physical theft, please read (all of my articles really, but this one in particular):

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40226430
Thank you. I now know what i needed to know.

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