Archive for the ‘Hard disk drive’ Category

Full-disk encryption for all computer drives

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The six biggest computer drive manufacturers of the world have published this week the final specifications for single and full disk encryption standards which capable to be used in all hard disk drivers, encryption key management applications and solid state drivers. After it is enabled any disk which uses these specifications would be locked without a password and this password would be required even before booting the computer. The three specifications of The Trusted Computing Group can cover storage devices in desktop computers and consumer laptops and also as enterprise class drivers when used in disk storage arrays and servers.

Robert Thibadeau the TCG chairman and chief technologist in Seagate Technology said that this entirely represents capable commitments from all disk driver makers in this world. He further said that they are protecting the data when at rest. When the laptop is powered down or when a USB drive is unplugged or if administrator has pulled down a drive from the server it can actually be brought up and used without feeding in a cryptographically powerful password. However if you don’t have it then you probably won’t be able to sell it even on eBay.

When you are using a single and full disk encryption specification all the drive manufacturers can break your security to firmware of their products while even lower the cost of production and increase the efficiency of security technologies. When an application or an operating system writes data to its self encrypting drive a bottleneck is not created by any software which might have to interrupt the I/O stream and convert your data so that the user can see the encrypted data at I/O speed without any slowdown. Robert Thibadeau further said that the encryption machinery also does not use any power. When the machinery reads the data from a drive it also displays it to your clearly as it is completely transparent and clearly readable.

The Trusted Computer Group (TCG) includes companies like LSI Logic, Wave Systems, Western Digital, UNLINK Technology, Toshiba, IBM, Samsung, Seagate Technology and Hitachi GST. Jon Oltisk the analyst in Enterprise Strategy Group said that in five years time you would see your drive coming off the production line and it would be encrypted with virtually zero cost for it.

Included in the three specifications is the Opal Specification that describes minimum requirements for all the storage devices in laptops and computers. The other is Enterprise Security Subsystem Class specification and this is aimed at drives in high volume applications and data centers where generally there is less security configuration during installation. The third specification includes the Storage Interface Interactions specifications. This specification describes how the previous Storage Core specifications of TCG and other specifications interact with other standards regarding connections and storage interface. For instance this specification supports a huge number of transports that include ATA serial and parallel, ATAPI, Fibre Channel and SCSI SAS. Most of the drive manufacturers including Hitachi, Fujitsu and Seagate have already supported this specification for the same drives.

New security technology for 2.5-in encrypted hard disk drives

Monday, February 16th, 2009

There is a new security technology developed by Fujitsu Computer Products of America in order to make their 2.5 inch encrypted HDDs or hard disk drivers compatible with the Opal Security Subsystem Class. The Opal Security Subsystem Class is the latest storage security standard that was made known on the 27th of January 2009 by the Trusted Computing Group. This group is an international organization that is involved in setting the security standards for the new generation computing environments.

The Opal security subsystem class specifications of Trusted Computing Group has been assumed as an international standard with the main goal to create more secure IT work environments. When they are used in combination in supporting other application software the hard disk drivers which support Opal security subsystem class would enable sophisticated security solutions for a much wider array of computing platforms which also include notebook computers.

The Trusted Computing Groups has recently standardized the Opal security subsystem class specifications for advanced security solutions in the entire computing environments. Therefore as an active member of the Trusted Computing Group, Fujitsu has taken the initiative to led the formulation of the standard and they have even consequently developed the technology for their Opal based s2.5 inch hard disk drives feeding them with encryption features. Additionally, when this recently developed hard disk drier security technology is used in combination with some other application software that supports Opal security subsystem class would also enable superior security features such as secure partition and pre boot authentication.

The Pre-booth authentication feature in the computer basically performs authentications when starting up the PC. Therefore using the hard disk drives which supports the Opal security subsystem class standards would allows you to use the advanced authentication techniques like smart card authentication or biometric authentication. These features can even be use before starting up windows or any other operating system which makes it more possible to build an area that is more secure than previous ones which often rely on password input through keyboards.

The technology that enables the storage of hard disk drives is the secure partition that partitions it into a number of secure storage areas. Every partition can be protected under their own encryption key which would give access to just the valid owner of the partition and the users would be given access by their owners.  This for instance allows for content and its licensing data to be protected and stored in separate partitions so that different partitions can be used according to the nature of the data stored which enables intense secure data management. The Fujitsu Company is also currently working with an independent software dealer to implement all these new functions which would include Wave Systems, SECUDE, McAfee and WinMagic.