The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) released a new standard for full disk encryption that will help laptop users safeguard data in the event a system is stolen. Hard disks manufactured to the new standard will be based on the Opal Security Subsystem Class (SSC) specification. Fujitsu Computer Products of America is one of the first manufacturers to build disks to the new Opal standard.
David James, VP of Advanced Product Engineering at Fujitsu, said that, "Fujitsu believes that the specification will allow consistent features across manufacturers."
Having a laptop lost or stolen has been a problem for users who work with sensitive data. The Fujitsu drives use a 256-bit AES key and implements the encryption in hardware. James also said that "by implementing the encryption in hardware we do not expect any performance degradation."
Key management continues to be a challenge. Fujitsu is working with SECUDE to implement key management with its product line. SECUDE has designed its Finally Secure Enterprise software to be compatible with the Opal standard. Finally, Secure makes disk administration easy. By erasing the key, the information becomes inaccessible. This makes hardware redeploys safe and easy.
Fujitsu is currently shipping evaluation units and expects production units to be available by mid-year. Users will pay a slight premium for the added functionality but expect the price point to be competitive once laptop manufacturers start to produce in quantity.