What is the benefit of hard disk encryption on a server ?

I understand the advantage on hard disk encryption  on a laptop, if someone snags your laptop the can not boot from a cd with knoppix and get to all your data.

With a web based machine hackers are going to be accessing a live running system that has access to all mounted stuff.  Rarely are they going to drive past your data center snag your running servers.  

Does encryption do much to protect running mounted data ?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'm a consultant.  I work for a very large private company at one of their remote locations.  I COULD, IF I WANTED TO (forget legalities and that if I were caught I'd probably go to jail), reboot the local DC and in 5 minutes, get full ENTERPRISE ADMIN rights on their entire company wide network with over 20 sites on multiple continents.  Then, I could bring them to their knees in seconds.  If they angered me.  I could.  *IF* the server isn't encrypted.  If it is, then I can't do anything.

And for compliance (HIPAA for example) in the USA, you need to take all reasonable efforts to protect client data.  If there was a huge storm or a fire and the building was seemingly destroyed, someone (even a rescue worker) COULD steal the drives, send them to data recovery and possibly get patient or other client data.  This would be a HUGE breach.

Encryption is there on servers to protect data.  Should you use it?  Depends on how much you value the data and how much others might value your data.  It's that simple.  Many attacks are social engineering attacks.  Convince a secretary you're from "corporate" and get access to the server and now you can steal the data - that's often EASIER than hacking past a firewall.

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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantCommented:
Does encryption do much to protect running mounted data ?
In a very simple sense the data sits on your server's hard disk drive encrypted and unreadable unless you have the required key(s) to read it (UN-encrypt it) so that is an additional layer to protecting your data. Even if someone gains access to your server if they don't have the correct key to unecrypt it they can't access it, copy it or destroy it.
TIMFOX123Author Commented:
thank you sooo much
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