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Encrypting File Systems – A Microsoft security feature

by Canto  |  February 4, 2021

2 min. read
A picture of a keyboard with a key that reads, "Data protection".

An Encrypting File System (EFS) enhances the security of a file or folder. If you use Microsoft, this added layer of protection is a plus, especially in the world of remote working. EFS protects information and adds a layer of security. Here we look at what it is and how it helps to safeguard privacy within data protection regulations.

What is the Encrypting File System?

The Encrypting File System belongs to Microsoft Windows. It’s a technology that protects users from hackers gaining access to their physical software. The EFS is a tool designed to encrypt files on hard drives. It is supported by NTFS which is an in-built system used to store and retrieve files.

If your colleagues are keeping important files on team laptops, encryption is an ally against intrusion. Only a user or authorized agent can decrypt a file. And only with permissions can an additional user access an EFS file or folder.

a vault

How the Encrypting File System works

The EFS was created by Microsoft and works via a Windows operating system (OS). It is not a third-party software tool and instead is built into a computer or laptop via the OS. The ETF is additional security to an NTFS and uses an algorithm and file encryption key. Accessing or retrieving a folder requires key access built into Microsoft software.

Once a file has been encrypted, the system runs in the background and causes the user no disruption. If files are moved to a new folder or hard drive then they remain encrypted. New files added to an encrypted folder are automatically protected. A click of a button decrypts a file with no cause for disruption or restriction.

3 benefits of the Encrypting File System:

  • Quick and easy implementation
  • User encryption ownership
  • Administrator file recovery options

laptop on the beach

If you use Microsoft Windows and store information on physical hard drives, encryption is beneficial. Keep folders and files safe from theft or intrusion with this added layer of protection for all of your devices.