New encryption standards pitched

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New encryption standards pitched

The Trusted Computing Group has put forward specifications for three new storage encryption standards.

The three specifications outline encryption standards for storage in both PCs and data centers along with a third proposed standard for the SCSI and ATA protocols used by hard disks and other storage systems.

The group hopes that the new "Opal" standards will give vendors a single blueprint for building and implementing encrypted hard drives.

"Lost and stolen data costs industry and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention loss of credibility, legal issues and lost productivity," said Trusted Computing chair Robert Thibadeau.

"TCG’s approach to Trusted Storage gives vendors and users a transparent way to fully encrypt data in hardware without affecting performance so that data is safe no matter what happens to the drive."

Because the Trusted Computing Group is backed by most of the major hardware and storage vendors, uptake for the new standard is expected to be strong. Many of those vendors, such as Seagate, have already been offering encrypted drives based on the proposed standard.

"Self-encrypting drives not only deliver [Advanced Encryption Standard] government-grade encryption, but offer key encryption technology, effectively making existing data unreadable once the encryption key is erased," explained Henry Fabian, Seagate's executive director for core marketing.

"This technology is ideal for data center drives that are repurposed, reused, recycled, or returned for expired lease, repair or warranty."

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