Drive Encryption: Department of Child Services in Hendricks County Laptops Stolen.

According to, the Department of Child Services in Hendricks County (Indiana) reported the theft of multiple laptop computers with sensitive information over the weekend.  However, they can be congratulated for stopping a full-blown data breach from occurring: laptop encryption software like AlertBoot was used to secure the data in the computers.

Department is a Block Away from Cops

Two TV projection screens and 10 laptops were stolen during the break-in.  Even more audacious on the part of the thieves is the fact that Department of Child Services in Hendricks County is a block away from the Avon Police Department.

Due to the nature of the department’s activities, it’s not a stretch to assume that sensitive information must have been handled on the stolen laptops.  However, encryption software was used to secure that information.  This nearly guarantees that the laptops won’t be accessed by the thief or thieves.

Encryption is Scrambling

WISH-TV Engineering Manager Tom Weber explained the concept of encryption like this: “Encryption is scrambling.”

Well…yes.  But it’s a little more than that.  If I may play off the word “scrambling,” the use of encryption can be compared to the following:

Take an egg.  Crack it and scramble it.  Serve on a dish.  Now, try to reconstitute the scrambled eggs into the original egg.  This is what encryption is like.

The egg is your data.  Scrambling is the encryption process.  But, unlike the actual egg, you can actually reverse the scrambling process when it comes to data encryption.  All you need is the encryption key, which is generally linked up to a password (to make it easier to remember).  If a person were to try to force their way into the encrypted data, they’d find is as hard as trying to unscramble a plate of eggs Benedict.

No wonder, then, that those who require the safeguarding of sensitive data use encryption.

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