Back in January, we listed a few things that Apple needs to do to to make the Mac OS X more "enterprise" IT security friendly. While we're waiting, a number of independent security vendors are stepping up with enterprise-class disk encryption.Individual Mac users and small businesses can, and should, already be encrypting their drives, especially notebook drives, with tools such as OS X's FileVault or TrueCrypt, (which I wrote about in February) and colleague Serdar Yegulalp took a deeper look here.
While their encryption has so far proven solid, and the price for these tools are right (free), unfortunately, neither of these encryption tools provide all of the functions or centralized manageability a company, especially a regulated company, would need.
For instance, if an employee loses a notebook, or it happens to be stolen, how do you know that all of their sensitive work files were encrypted? Same is true for removable storage devices, and, to a lesser extent, desktop drives.
Yesterday, PGP Corp. announced that it's providing preboot authentication to its PGP Whole Disk Encryption for Mac OS X software. The vendor claims (I've not had a chance to play with PGP on a Mac yet), that the encryption software not only locks down files, but also boot sectors, system, and swap files.
But what's nice for enterprise users is that PGP Whole Disk Encryption for OS X can be managed along with PGP Whole Disk for Windows, through the PGP Universal Server, so that users, policies, configurations, and encryption keys are manageable from a single console.
We'll have to wait to take a peek, as PGP Whole Disk Encryption 9.9 for the Mac won't be available until next month.
PGP's move follows a recent offering from Check Point Software Technologies, called Check Point Endpoint Security Full Disk Encryption. This encryption platform works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and also brings centralized management.
Check Point's software is available now.
It's nice to see the race for enterprise-class OS X security software heating up, and a way to help bring Macs more securely into the enterprise.