Seagate Technology, Dell and McAfee are bringing their well-established specialties to the same table to produce notebook computers that automatically provide encryption of data.
Seagate, the world's largest spinning disk drive maker, on Nov. 11 started shipping new self-encrypting Momentus notebook PC hard drives with 160GB to 320GB of capacity to its worldwide distribution channels. Half-terabyte (500GB) versions will be available early next year, Seagate said.
Data security provider McAfee is providing the embedded software for the enterprisewide management of notebooks using Seagate Secure hard drives.
McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator management system and endpoint encryption client-both of which are centrally managed-have been integrated into the Seagate Momentus FDE (full-disk encryption) hard drives to provide the embedded hardware encryption.
Using Orchestrator, IT security personnel can enforce policy management globally, enable token authentication and end-user password recovery, and aid organizations to prove that a missing notebook was encrypted at the time it was lost or stolen-a key requirement for compliance with many data-privacy laws.
Dell, which will be building all of these new laptops, has been shipping a similar notebook with a 160GB Seagate self-encrypting hard drive since last year, but it was only available on a limited basis.
"These are the first self-encrypting drives we've ever shipped to the worldwide channel," Seagate Marketing Director Joni Clark told me. "It's probably a matter of time before all hard drives are encrypted."
It was widely reported several months ago that an average of 30,000 laptops and handheld devices are left in New York City cabs and airports each month. In addition, the FBI recently reported that a notebook computer is stolen every 53 seconds and that 97 percent of them are never recovered.
Thus, data security on these devices-especially on enterprise machines that contain valuable business information-is becoming an increasing focus of enterprise IT managers.
Seagate's new Momentus FDE notebook hard drives boast 5,400- and 7,200-rpm speeds. All Momentus FDE drives feature a fast Serial ATA interface and built-in AES encryption-an AES government-grade encryption used to encrypt all hard drive information automatically.
McAfee isn't the only security software vendor that is working with Seagate on these new notebooks. SECUDE International, Wave Systems and WinMagic Data Security are also partnered with Seagate to handle portions of the HDD deliveries.