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How safe is my data?

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    How safe is my data?

    Hi all.
    I'm developing a system which handles the records of vulnerable adults.
    These need to be very secure, however there are occasions when the data needs to reside on a flash disc/memory stick for transfer when I/net is unavailable, and sometimes for capturing data in a home.
    I've assured the end user that the data can be encrypted and I believe this is based on the database password. (But I might be wrong here.)
    Having used a mixture of Upper/Lower/Numerics and some of the alternative character set, (alt131 etc), as a password, has anyone tried to break the encryption?
    How good is the algorythm to encrypt the data?

    With W-7.zip there is a very secure algorythm, so moving data around is less of a problem. It's the loss of a memstick which has the application data files on it keeps me up at night.

    Ted
    See our Hybrid Option here;
    https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


    We are the
    Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

    Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

    #2
    Re: How safe is my data?

    Originally posted by Ted Giles View Post
    Hi all.
    I'm developing a system which handles the records of vulnerable adults.
    These need to be very secure, however there are occasions when the data needs to reside on a flash disc/memory stick for transfer when I/net is unavailable, and sometimes for capturing data in a home.
    I've assured the end user that the data can be encrypted and I believe this is based on the database password. (But I might be wrong here.)
    Having used a mixture of Upper/Lower/Numerics and some of the alternative character set, (alt131 etc), as a password, has anyone tried to break the encryption?
    How good is the algorythm to encrypt the data?

    With W-7.zip there is a very secure algorythm, so moving data around is less of a problem. It's the loss of a memstick which has the application data files on it keeps me up at night.

    Ted
    As of yet, I have not seen which form of encryption is actually being used when you encrypt a table.

    Rumor has it that an individual once proclaimed to be able to break the security, nothing yet has been documented if he was successful or not.

    For your protecting the data on the memstick you have several options. You can encrypt the tables that contains the actual data. Again I state that I do not know what encryption scheme is used, nor what key length. Encryption is strengthened by the key length and the algorithm used. In all encryption cases protection of the encryption/decryption key is paramount to the system's protection. In Alpha Five's case I do not know how the key is protected. Another option is to use a encryption software that will encrypt the entire memstick. I personally use TrueCrypt but there are other products that do the same thing or similar.

    When I decide on the an encryption format I base it on several factors. One is the encryption algorithm in the public domain. In the public domain allows for peer review, when security holes are found they are either fixed or published so people know to not to use that encryption algorithm. Key length is critical, a key of 56 bits provides nowhere near the security that a key of 256 bits will. Has the encryption scheme been vetted and throughly tested. Without know what scheme is being used this is a difficult one to answer.

    Other factors to be concerned about, adding encryption will increase system overhead. Different encryptions schemes have varying amounts. You will need to balance your level security you need with the level of useability you also need.

    Typically I keep with AES and 256 bit.
    Andrew

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      #3
      Re: How safe is my data?

      Have a look at TrueCrypt. It can encrypt USB drives for on the fly encryption/decryption.

      www.truecrypt.org

      And it's free to boot.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: How safe is my data?

        You also have Cryptainer: http://www.cypherix.co.uk/cryptainerle

        Allows you to create a container (folder) where you place your sensitive files. I use the free edition (more than enough for my needs)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: How safe is my data?

          Thanks all.
          I was hoping to use the Alpha encryption, so I've sent a sample off to the chaps who do the Information Governance and Security for the UK Government. If it takes them longer than 1 hour, I'll be happy. I'll keep you posted.
          See our Hybrid Option here;
          https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


          We are the
          Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

          Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

          Comment


            #6
            Re: How safe is my data?

            Have they cracked it yet Ted?
            I wonder if it is AES 128.
            This amusing and interesting article (well it stars 2 dogs) concludes 128 is as good as 256. https://blog.agilebits.com/2013/03/0...-bit-aes-keys/

            It would be good to know if Alpha's encryption is good enough to give strong protection of data (eg commercial or medical data) on memory sticks ?

            Robin

            Comment


              #7
              Re: How safe is my data?

              Excellent article Robin.
              I have to use gvmnt approved memstick security and it's 128.
              As for the test, I have heard nothing. They probably lost interest.
              See our Hybrid Option here;
              https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


              We are the
              Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

              Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: How safe is my data?

                The only thing I can say:
                I have encrypted a table with several different codes in alpha. The final product when opened in excel looked different. From that, I drew the conclusion that a strong code would be better than a simple one.

                TOM would not match To3x#13yzrwlaaaof in complexity or ease of decrypting. Would believe the length woul be a factor.
                If the database has alpha security, the password for the main security would be the code( was when I used it) I did roll my own and do encrypt only the tables I need to encrypt.
                Dave Mason
                [email protected]
                Skype is dave.mason46

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