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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Toshiba Plans Self Encrypting, Crypto Erasing Hard Drives



Toshiba announced earlier this week that they plan to release self encrypting hard drives later this year. They’ll be joining the ranks of Samsung, Hitachi and Seagate who already have self encrypting hard drives in the market.

Toshiba's hard drives won’t just be self encrypting, they’ll also be able to be crypto erased, a feature that allows users to erase the key that allows the data to be accessed, keeping the data intact but inaccessible to anyone but an admin with a copy of the drive’s key. There’s even a feature that crypto erases the drive after a number of failed logins at the OS or on boot-up. Toshiba is the first company to offer crypto erasing on their commercial hard drives.

Besides the Self Encrypting, Crypto Erasing capabilities, the hard drives are pretty standard. The model type is MKxx61GSGYG, here’s some basic specs:

  • Interface: SATA
  • Size: 2.5 inches
  • RPM: 7,200
  • Encryption: AES-256

There are numerous benefits to having encryption taken care of at the hard drive level and the ability to crypto erase data, users can’t de-activate the encryption…ever so there’s no need to maintain any software and no chance of someone forgetting to encrypt sensitive data, crypto erasing allows data to be kept but inaccessible, and both happen at a level below the OS and even the BIOS so it’s pretty hard to get around without the proper keys.

The drives are going to be released in the middle of 2011 according to Toshiba.

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