Hitachi adds encryption to laptop drive

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Hitachi has announced that its 200GB notebook hard drive will include encryption to protect data if the machine falls into the wrong hands.

Dell and Alienware are the first vendors that will sell computers incorporating the drive.

The Travelstar 7K200 uses Hitachi's Bulk Data Encryption technology to guard against data loss should the notebook go missing, a frequent and increasingly embarrassing occurrence for a string of high-profile victims.

An NHS laptop containing the payroll data of 10,000 staff was stolen from the NHS payroll headquarters in Cornwall in the early hours of 1 May.

Two weeks previously, a laptop belonging to Marks & Spencer was stolen from a printer's premises in a burglary on 18 April. It contained the names, home addresses, salary details and National Insurance numbers of 26,000 M&S staff.

Other high-profile victims this year include the parent company of retailer TK Maxx, Nationwide and even the Metropolitan Police. In fact, according to a recent survey, over half of UK companies admit to losing a laptop in the past 12 months.

Security experts have stated that hard drive-level data encryption is the simplest way to mitigate such losses.
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