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.