Toshiba to Demo New Self-Encrypting HDD at RSA Conference

The new encryption software, which uses Wave Systems' Trusted Drive Manager application, is built around NIST-certified AES encryption technology fully integrated within the HDD's controller, the company said.

Toshiba's Storage Device Division, which specializes in small-form disk drives for netbook and laptop computers, said April 15 that it will demonstrate a new self-encrypting hard drive at next week's RSA Conference 2009 in San Francisco.
Toshiba's encryption package, which uses Wave Systems' Trusted Drive Manager application, is built around NIST-certified AES encryption technology fully integrated within the HDD's controller, the company said.
The encryption in the drive is engineered to protect confidential company information and enable security management to cost-effectively comply with regulatory mandates for data protection.
In the self-encryption process, data is automatically encrypted as it comes into the drive. The encryption key, which is inside the drive and never leaves it, requires a separate authentication key to open the decryption process.
"So two levels of authentication are required at all times," Scott Wright, a Toshiba product manager, told eWEEK.
Hardware encryption is tough to use and manage, especially at a corporate level that involves numerous laptop and netbook machines. So anything that can be automated- such as self-encryption-in this realm is a big help to administrators and users alike.
Toshiba's 2.5-inch self-encrypting drives support the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Storage Architecture Core Specification, as well as the Storage Security Subsystem Class (SSC) Opal Specification, Wright said.
At the RSA conference, Toshiba will demonstrate the TCG-Opal compliant self-encrypting drive for the first time.
The encryption/decryption process occurs at full I/O speeds, delivering high performance while maintaining typical HDD power profiles, Toshiba said.
Toshiba's self-encrypting drives also incorporate other certified algorithms to deliver high-end authentication and access control, the company said. These enable TCG specification capabilities to provide stronger access security compared with currently available methods, the company said.
The new self-encrypting drives are ticketed to be launched in the first quarter of 2010, Wright said.
The RSA conference will be held April 21-23 at the Moscone Center.

Other companies already have this feature available. RSA's encryption products, for example, are among the most widely used in the world and are featured in storage systems built by EMC and other manufacturers.
McAfee's Endpoint Encryption inside Seagate drives makes key management more organized and secure, and no CPUs are burdened in the encryption or decryption of the data. Seagate is shipping 320GB and 500GB self-encrypted drives of up to 7,200 rpm.
Dell now is shipping notebooks with these drives. The drives come factory-preloaded with management software.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...