Seagate has announce plans to release a new generation of mobile hard drives. The drives will offer a hardware encryption mechanism built into the mechanism. Every bit of data that is written to the drive will be secure. This maybe the best means by which mobile users can truly secure their data.
Mobile computer users are most vulnerable to equipment theft. And when a computer is stolen, the computers data is ultimately compromised. Seagate’s plan is to keep the computer data secure, even if the computer falls into the wrong hands. The would be thief would have possession of the computer terminal, but without the requisite password, the con would have no way to access the data stored on the drive.
The idea is that a computer user would have to enter a password before the machine would even boot from the drive. Some might see it as another step or a potential hassle, but many believe Seagate has the right idea. In recent months, tech sites have reported massive problems with data theft due to stolen portables. Recently the theft of a laptop computer resulted in the exposure of thousands of veterans social security numbers. Mobile computers using Seagate’s DriveTrust line of hard drives would not be susceptible to such information disclosure.
It sounds like Seagate has a great thing going. As long as the implementation is solid, secure, and unobtrusive, other manufacturers will likely follow suit. It will also be important to note whether or not the new encrypted mechanisms are capable of the same access speeds found in current conventional drives. As of yet, there is no word on performance. If there is a serious performance hit due to the encryption overhead, DriveTrust will be doomed to failure.