Earlier in the week, a colleague of mine had his work laptop upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP. To many of us this would seem to be a welcome change but for some this could actually be a complication. As part of the changeover, “BitLocker to Go” drive encryption is enforced on USB drives as part of the security policy. This isn’t such a big deal if you happen to use other computers running Windows XP or later.
However, what do you do if you’re using Mac OS X at home?
The short answer, you’re toast. Mac OS X or anything operating system other than Windows cannot read a BitLocker encrypted drive or volume. You could perhaps try running Windows in a virtual machine on top of Mac OS X and see how you go but it would rely upon the ability of your virtualisation software to access a physical drive instead of a virtual drive.
Sure, I get that the point of drive encryption in a corporate environment is to protect data from being stolen (perhaps more so in situations where laptops are stolen from cars or houses) but it can also impact upon the flexibility of workers to use alternative platforms if they are doing casual work at home in their own time without having to pull out the work laptop (if they have one).