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Can I encrypt shared files on windows server and allow only authenticated domain users have access to these files?

The scenario as follows:

I have a software development company, and I would like to protect my source code from being copied by my programmers.

One problem is that some programmers use their own laptops to developing the company's software.

In this scenario it's impossible to prevent developers from copying the source code for their laptops.

In this case I thought about the following solution, but i don't know if it's possible to implement.

The idea is to encrypt the source code and they are accessible (decrypted) only when developers are logged into the AD domain, ie if they are not logged into the AD domain, the source code would be encrypted be useless.

How can be implemented this using EFS? or Are there other tools to do this?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

What's to prevent them from logging in to the domain, opening and decrypting the source code in notepad/VS/whatever, and then copying and pasting the contents to a local file?

Encryption isn't meant to protect data from users that already have access to it. You have a social/policy problem, not a technical one.

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The problem is that once they have access to the source they could just make a copy and just completely bypass this whole system you are thinking of. If you don't trust someone with data then you shouldn't give it to them, because as soon as they have access they can make copies and do anything they want with it (other than modifying your original copy).

The best thing you can do is setup a firewall to detect if source code is being transmitted through your network (although this is foiled by encryption), and not allow any sort of storage devices.

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I'm not sure that a firewall is the BEST thing you can do here, but encryption certainly isnt the answer –  MDMarra May 28 '10 at 18:10
    
Setup firewall to detect if source code is being transmitted through network. Thanks –  Walter May 28 '10 at 19:06

I did some tests using EFS and AD domain. I think the following solution can be used.

I used EFS to encrypt a folder and gave permission to a user X. When this user login with domain credentials have full access to this folder and can copy all files. (encrypted files!)

But if the user doesn't login with the credentials of the AD domain, they cannot access the files. Even if he is using the local administrator account on the machine.

The problem now is that AD remains cached user information.

Now I need to know if you can configure the AD to authenticate that the laptops only if the server is online and do not let these users to decrypt the files using EFS.

Have you already implemented something like this?

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How does this stop the user from copying the code to notepad once it's decrypted and then saving it to a flash drive or emailing it to himself? You can certainly encrypt the data, but encryption doesn't exist to protect data from users that can decrypt that data. –  MDMarra May 28 '10 at 20:58

To answer your question as stated: yes, you can encrypt data using EFS and allow multiple AD users to access it. As several others have already pointed out, while this is technically true it is also practically useless. Anyone that can decrypt the file can save, print, copy the decrypted source code, especially if you are letting them do this on machines you don't control.

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