TrueCrypt, a free data encryption tool, was abandoned by its makers in 2014 amidst rumors of security threats. This left users scrambling to find good TrueCrypt alternatives — either free and open source or per license. Despite losing the support of its developers, the software still has many users.
In 2015, Gibson Research Group ran a study about vulnerabilities in the most recent, stable TrueCrypt release, and while the study found several bugs, it did not find any actionable security threats that could endanger your data. The most troubling vulnerability is when using TrueCrypt on a computer or with a mounted drive. TrueCrypt encrypts your data at rest, but in a mounted drive, it stores the key on your computer, making it possible for bad agents to retrieve the key and use it to decrypt your data.
The lack of support and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the closing of the business sends many buyers looking for TrueCrypt alternatives. Yes, TrueCrypt is still available for download from some websites and torrents, but without the ability to examine and test the code, and considering the almost-continual alerts of new security breaches and data leaks, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Here are six of the best TrueCrypt alternatives:
VeraCrypt owners built the tool from an earlier TrueCrypt fork, but more recent releases broke with the TrueCrypt volume format, which means the software cannot open existing encrypted TrueCrypt files. Built with the same features and interface as TrueCrypt (so your onboarding time is significantly reduced), the tool was improved with increased iterations per encryption. This increases the read and write time, but if you’re looking for an easy switch, this is it.
The wiki describes this software as an “open source partition encryption solution.” This free software can encrypt all disk partitions, and versions 0.1-0.4 are compatible with TrueCrypt. The current version — 1.1.846.118 — was released in September 2014 and can encrypt both files and whole drives, but it’s no longer compatible with TrueCrypted files. The reasoning behind this was to begin encrypting partitions that already included data, rather than creating empty partitions to fill later. DiskCrypter is available for Windows only and doesn’t support Mac or Linux.
FileVault 2 is an encryption tool built exclusively for Macs and comes standard with the latest operating systems. FileVault 2 is a huge improvement over the first iteration, since it now encrypts the full startup disk. This makes your data completely inaccessible without the password. The encryption is so secure that it makes some governments uneasy about how difficult it is to access into your data. If you have Find My Mac deployed, you can also wipe your startup disk remotely.
Cryptomator is another free tool, but this one encrypts file-by-file rather than whole volume like you see in TrueCrypt. While you may use Cryptomator for different jobs than TrueCrypt, the security and encryption are top notch. Cryptomator acts as a client-side encryption tool, with transparent processes that don’t slow or otherwise impede your use of files.
BestCrypt provides encryption for files and folders on your machine, removable devices, or for the full volume of the disk. Use this tool on Windows, Mac, or Linux machines. The latest version comes with an updated GUI to ease use, plus enhanced security with keyfiles, hashing, and salting. Since this is a licensed product, you’ll pay to use it, but you can access both modern and old DOS-style partitions with a single program.
Symantec provides their Drive Encryption on a per-license basis, for Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. You can manage your entire enterprise security strategy through one, centralized dashboard. Multiple recovery modes keep your data safe but accessible. Windows machines can access their encrypted data through a single sign-on. Additional add-on support gives users access to support engineers at all times.
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Upgrading your encryption service to one of these TrueCrypt alternatives can help you secure your business’s data and guard against possible vulnerabilities in the TrueCrypt system. While it’s not an immediate requirement, upgrading to a different open source or paid license tool is a smart, proactive decision that will further safeguard your IT environment.