Pre-Boot Authentication (PBA) or Power-On Authentication (POA) serves as an extension of the BIOS or boot firmware and guarantees a secure, tamper-proof environment external to the operating system as a trusted authentication layer.
The PBA prevents anything being read from the hard disk such as the operating system until the user has confirmed he/she has the correct password or other credentials. Pre-Boot Authentication is generally provided by a variety of full disk encryption vendors, but can be installed separately. Some FDE (Full Disk Encryption) solutions can function without Pre-Boot Authentication, such as hardware-based full disk encryption. However, without some form of authentication, encryption provides little protection.
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