TCG Standard Offers Full Disk Protection

Ralph DeFrangesco

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.



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Feb 11, 2009 2:57 AM Tristan Kromer Tristan Kromer  says:

The comment on the pricing is the big story here. With price pressure from the recession, companies like Dell have to drop their price point and their suppliers like Seagate and Fujitsu will have to comply. The added value of FDE will be a nice bonus to grab a bit more of the hefty US gov contracts in cybersecurity that everyone in the IT security industry is hoping for.

Full Disclosure: I am the product manager for FinallySecure. http://FinallySecure.com

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Feb 22, 2009 12:10 PM Ralph DeFrangesco Ralph DeFrangesco  says: in response to Tristan Kromer

Tristan,

Thank you for your comments. No doubt there is money to made selling to the government. However, I hope that the FDE vendors find a large market selling retail. Working for a security company, I'm sure that you would agree that the general public would greatly benefit from encryption since they do not do a good job secuirty their PC's with virus protection software.

-Ralph

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