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Chapter 5.7. Protecting Data > EFS and EFS Recovery

EFS and EFS Recovery

Abuse of the encrypting file system is another possible cause of data loss. NTFS in Windows 2000 allows files to be encrypted; when this is done, they can be decoded only by the person who encrypted them or the nominated "recovery agent," who is usually the administrator. To avoid breaches in security, some sites export and delete the certificate needed for file recovery so it must be reloaded before EFS security can be bypassed.

If the certificate used in encrypting the file should become lost, the user will no longer be able access their files and will need the administrator to recover them. This could happen if a user always works from the same client computer and so does not have a roaming profile. Their certificate is stored on the client computer, but it can be used to encrypt files on a server. If the client computer should fail, the certificate would be lost; at this point, the administrator would have to recover the files for a user. It would be good policy for the user's EFS certificate to be backed up, even if nothing else on their computer is backed up.


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