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Chapter 19. Implementing Disk Management > Enabling File Encryption

Enabling File Encryption

With the introduction of Windows 2000, Microsoft added the ability to encrypt individual files or entire subdirectories stored on an NTFS volume in a totally transparent way. To their creator, encrypted files look exactly like regular files—no changes to applications are required to use them. However, to anyone except the creator/encryptor, the files are unavailable. Even if someone did manage to gain access to them, they would be gibberish because they’re stored in encrypted form.

Encryption is simply an advanced attribute of the file, like compression. However, a file cannot be both compressed and encrypted at the same time—the attributes are mutually exclusive. Encrypted files are available only to the encryptor, but they can be recovered by the domain or machine recovery agent if necessary. You can back up encrypted files by normal backup procedures if the backup program is Windows Server 2008–aware. Files remain encrypted when backed up, and restored files retain their encryption.


  

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