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Cyber Bites

Tales from the Cyber Support Desk

“Hello, this is Jeff Brown, I’m a Financial Professional with Any Broker Dealer. I’m having trouble getting into my computer, it’s asking for some kind of BitLocker Recovery key.”


“Sure, happy to try and help. Do you know who encrypted your computer and what they may have done with the recovery key that was generated when that work was completed?”


“My local IT professional did it a couple years ago. He gave me a thumb drive which he said I should keep. I taped it to my computer. About a year ago I was going out of town and I took the thumb drive off the computer and I’m not sure what I did with it.”

Lessons learned from this, unfortunately real, example.

  • Bitlocker Recovery keys are important and if the computer is prompting for it, you will not be getting into the computer without it. Encryption would not be much good if it could be easily circumvented.

  • We prefer the BitLocker recovery key be saved to a Microsoft Account AND printed and securely stored with other important documents.

  • The purpose of whole disk encryption is, in case a device falls into enemy hands, the information on the device cannot be accessed. The recovery key can be used to unlock the computer’s encryption, attaching it to the device is akin to not having encryption at all.

  • Without disk encryption, user passwords can be easily bypassed and are nothing more than a speedbump in the criminal’s path to getting your data if they have physical control of the device.

Source: Security Snapshot


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