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Toshiba’s New Self-Encrypting Hard Drives (They Erase Themselves!)

Toshiba has unveiled its family of self-encrypting hard disk drives that can erase data when connected to an unkown host. The new Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) allow manufacturers to configure different data invalidation options to allow for consumers increased options for data security. The SED hard drives will be in a 2.5-inch form factor and run at 7,200 rotations per minute. The drives are built for PCs, copiers, and multi-function printers, as well as POS (point of sale) systems that are commonly used in government and medical sectors.

The drives will come in a few different capacities, ranging from 160GB up to 640GB and will have 16MB of buffer memory, using serial ATA 2.0 specs allowing for 3Gbit/sec transfer speeds. The hard drives perform a unique authentication process upon boot up. If the authentication fails, well, you’re toast. Just kidding, users will be able to set up their hard drives to either deny access or perform a cryptographic erase on certain blocks of data. Cryptographic erase deletes the keys that decrypt data, leaving the data permanently encrypted and unreadable.

The new hard drives use AES 256-bit encryption algorithm to protect the data, and a proprietary technology that wipes the hard drive from Opal Storage Specification. The Opal Storage Specification allows users to create an authenticity policy so that their devices can determine who to trust! These SEDs will ship out in the second quarter of 2011, and offer an excellent additional measure of security for your valuable data.

Photo Courtesy of Andi H
Photo Courtesy of Andres Rueda