Seagate Encrypted Hard Drives Go to ASI

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Recent revelations of stolen and missing laptops from corporations and government agencies—some of which have carried personal information on millions of Americans—has strengthened demands for data security technologies…particularly for notebooks and other portable systems. To that end, drive maker Seagate announced today that it is shipping its Momentus 5400 FDE.2 drive to ASI Computer Technology for use in the company’s C8015 "whitebook" notebook computer.

ASI markets computers under its own brand and acts as a channel partner for smaller-name PC makers. Other computer manufacturers are expected to begin offering Seagate’s encryption-capable drives in the coming months.

The basic idea behind Seagate’s DriveTrust encryption (announced last October) is to protect data stored on hard drives from unauthorized access, even if the computer is lost or stolen. The hardware-based system encrypts the entire contents of the drive using AES and TripleDES encryption technologies, as well as RSA public key encryption and SHA-A authentication. Security functions operate separately from the computer’s operating system, and can be used to erase the drive when organizations want to re-purpose or retire drives without compromising data. Of course, any encryption technology is only as safe as its password, so these drives are still vulnerable to attacks via social engineering and the infamous password-bearing Post-It note. And, of course, encrypted drive contents will be much more difficult for data forensics and recovery experts to resurrect in the event of catastrophe. So, back up early and often—and make sure your backups are secure.

"Computer security is a growing concern for all of our channel customers, though fear of stolen laptops is especially acute," said Kent Tibbils, ASI’s senior director of Platform Technologies and Marketing, in a statement. "And for good reason: the theft of intellectual property, customer information and other precious content stored on laptops can cost organizations dearly in legal remedies and customer retention, to say nothing of the considerable cost of restoring one’s good name. Seagate’s Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drive with the Wave Systems management software allows ASI to deliver notebooks with the strongest, easiest to deploy security available."

Seagate’s Momentus 5400 FDE.2 hard drives offer up to 160 GB of data capacity, 5,400 rpm speeds, and 1.5 Gbit/sec SATA interfaces.