Any data stored on businesses’ systems is an asset but it’s also a liability. Stored on nearly every computer and/or server across a variety of industries, data is not just vulnerable in the event of accidental loss, it’s also a high-value target for hackers and data thieves, who want everything from personal identification numbers and customer payment information, to contact lists and intellectual property. While improving data security requires extra precautions, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard, expensive, or interrupt the user experience.
The best, yet often overlooked, step in protecting data stored on laptops, desktops and/or servers is encryption at the hardware level on the device’s storage drive. Why? New systems often come with low-grade pre-installed hard drives which often lack encryption technology. If the hard drive does offer encryption, it’s typically software-based, which is one of the weakest forms of encryption. Software-based encryption can also slow down system performance, while still leaving data at risk of being compromised.
The bottom line: If you needed someone to protect you, you’d rather have a strong, muscular person than a skinny bodyguard. When it comes to data security, the choice is similar – hardware-based encryption is a much stronger and more reliable option for protecting data than software-based encryption or, worst case scenario, no encryption at all. In this slideshow, Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial, takes a closer look at how self-encrypting SSDs enhance data security strategies.
SSD Hardware Encryption
Click through for more on how self-encrypting SSDs can help enhance data security, as identified by Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial.
Say Goodbye to Your Hard Drive
Pre-installed hard drives either contain no encryption, leaving confidential data totally unguarded, or have software-based encryption, which can be slow and may still leave the system vulnerable to rootkit attacks. Swapping out vulnerable hard drives for self-encrypting SSDs means that all files are securely encrypted with no loss in performance or speed.
Hardware vs. Software Encryption
Software- and hardware-based encryptions both add an additional layer of security to systems, but that is where the similarities end. Hardware-based encryption is a much stronger option over software-based encryption because it contains a host of additional security features like automatically encrypting every drive file and requiring stronger security protocols that rely on the operating system, all without slowing down system performance.
Value of Self-Encrypting Drives
The best way to secure and protect your data from hackers and thieves is to use a self-encrypted drive that protects your data with AES 256-bit encryption – the same grade used by banks and hospitals. Self-encrypting drives use an encryption engine built into the SSD’s controller to encrypt every file stored on the drive. You can find this level of encryption on a select number of hard drives, but it comes standard on most SSDs enabling faster, more secure performance.
Purchasing an SSD
When purchasing an SSD, make sure the drive you choose has passed all three of the major industry encryption standards, including Microsoft® eDrive®, IEEE-1667, and TCG Opal 2.0.
Improving Data Security by Industry
Many industries can benefit from SSD’s data security and accelerated performance, including…
- Data to protect: Customer identifying information and claims; claim history software
- Programs to speed up: Microsoft® Office®, customer relationship management (CRM) software, databases
- Data to protect: Electronic medical records and billing information
- Programs to speed up: Microsoft Office, practice management and medical records software, medical technology applications
- Data to protect: Case history, evidence, contracts, and client information
- Programs to speed up: Microsoft® Office®, case and practice management software
Financial and accounting firms
- Data to protect: Tax, income, and personal identification information
- Programs to speed up: Microsoft® Office®, accounting software, QuickBooks®, CRM, databases