[Dshield] data storage encryption

Al Reust areust at comcast.net
Thu Jun 9 01:59:30 GMT 2005


This is quick and for some would seem fairly obvious without all the details.

Generally the encryption "agent" should be the same on both the source and 
the storage. So if you mix Win with Nix you could run into recovery 
problems. You also run the risk of the business not trusting you... YOU 
hold the "only" key to their business...

Most competent encryption software have the user (which encrypts the 
original data) and a recovery agent (administrator should the user forget 
the password/phrase). This allows multiple chances should something happen.

You are relying on one hard drive to protect data to be stored on another 
hard drive. While the odds of both failing are slim, many could tell of 
coincidence and that backups failed because of (fill in the blank)...

Security is currently littered with missing/lost off site backups. Not much 
is mentioned as to the encryption method used to protect the backups in 
transit. NO UPS does not stand for Unbelievably Poor Service... LOL

Whatever method is used the client(workstation) has to be able to decode 
the encrypted data to put the business back in operation. IF it is double 
encrypted for off site storage then that is another matter. What happens if 
the company decides that they no longer want your services... They need 
access to the second decryption device and the master password, that could 
a sealed envelope stored in a safety deposit box. This places you above 
board and out of legal battles...

CD and DVD have taken a hit over deterioration (ten years/less). Tapes well 
we all know that tapes fail...

Some companies are faced with restoring backup to drive media and then re 
archiving mandatory data.

Hard drive to hard drive is great for immediate restoration. CD/DVD is 
great for larger long term... Storage and power for at risk components and 
storage for archive media...

So a second Hard drive and DVD in a Fireproof safe helps in case of fire 
that topple the local machine and you could recommend that in the same 
close off site storage a duplicate of the machine less the hard drive could 
be ready incase of emergency... This all depends on what they know they 
could lose per hour/day/week while rebuilding their business.




At 07:53 PM 6/8/2005 +0200, you wrote:
>I have to create a system to encrypt data contained in a storage server,
>the procedure will be:
>-extract the data from source server in a HD
>-insert the HD in the storage server
>-power on the server
>-copy the data
>-shut down the server
>This process should be as automatic as possible, only requiring the
>insertion of the HD in the system.
>The data should be encrypted once in the server.
>My suggestion is to install linux with dm-crypt, and make a script that
>mount the encrypted volum at the startup, copy the data and shutdown the
>The problem I see in my way it's the automatism of it, because I should
>retain key/password to encrypt in any part of the script, so if anyone
>has the server only should turn on.....
>I thought a solution, make a Livecd with the linux and the key inside,
>and never has the server and the cd together without supervision.
>Of course maybe this method is a great stupid way of do it.
>I appreciate any suggestion to solve the problem or modify that I thought.
>Suggestions on cipher algoritm will be welcome too.
>Thanks a lot
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