Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

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The curious case of the Trusted Protection Module

I am keen on insurance and I am more interested in the claims process when things do go wrong, than in the cost of the premium.  In IT the same thing should apply , the level of protection should be driving force in any decision on how to look after your your data rather than the cost of the solution.  

What is odd about IT is how we seem to change modes when we get home to our home computers.  My home machine has a lot of personal data from contacts, to sign-on details, to various websites and personal and financial information and while I would be annoyed if someone swiped my desktop I would be in a complete mess if they accessed all that data.  I could individually encrypt the relevant files and use 3rd party tools to do this but it seems to me that BitLocker just takes the hassle out of the process.  The only other precaution then is to make sure the machine is shut down or hibernated when I am out so that cold boot attacks won’t work.

My old PC couldn’t easily run BitLocker as it didn’t have a trusted protection modules (TPM) on it, so when buying a new one recently I wanted to check that it had one as it’s part of the motherboard and not something you can add your self.  The call centre guy I talked to about this replied that they only put the TPM in their business machines.     I do know there has been consumer resistance to TPM’s as it has been suggested it would be used to for software protection and digital rights management that should only be a problem if you are part of the crew of the Black Pearl.  So #fail to that well known brand, and so I nipped round the back of our office to the local NovaTech store, and theirs do, and so I bought a barebones box (based on an intel i5 with 6gb RAM )and cannibalised  my old gaming rig and now I am all encrypted.

Before you comment on this post that only the top end editions of Windows have this capability, yes I know that so you need Ultimate edition at home for this. However if you add up the third party bits you need to get the same functionality then it actually isn’t anymore expensive.  You might also counter what I have written here by mentioning the various personal cloud offerings that around some to keep your data safe, some  of which like SkyDrive are free.  However my broadband is pretty appalling so I need to keep my stuff local until the fibre revolution happens.