Toshiba Announces Security Feature for Self-Encrypting Hard Drives

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

The drives leverage advanced access security and on-board encryption alongside second-generation data wipe technology.

Electronics company Toshiba announced a family of self-encrypting hard disk drives (HDDs) engineered to automatically invalidate protected data when connected to an unknown host. The Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) models are designed to enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to configure different data invalidation options that align with various end-user scenarios.

Designed to address the increasing need for IT departments to comply with privacy laws and regulations governing data security, the company said the drives are ideally suited for PC, copier and multi-function printer, and point-of-sale systems used in government, financial, medical, or similar environments with a heightened need to protect sensitive information.

Building on the Trusted Computing Group "Opal" Specification, the new Toshiba MKxx61GSYG models leverage advanced access security and on-board encryption alongside second generation data wipe technology. Whether to protect against data loss resulting from lost or stolen notebooks or to maintain the security of document image data stored within copier and printer systems, Toshiba SEDs can securely invalidate protected data.

Data invalidation attributes can be set for multiple data ranges, enabling targeted data in the drive to be rendered indecipherable by command, on power cycle, or on host authentication error. "This flexibility provides systems designers with a powerful set of data security options that can be easily incorporated into existing system architecture," the company said in a statement.

After being turned on, the SED and host perform an authentication process. If the authentication fails, the drive can be configured to simply deny access or crypto-erase sensitive user data. The company said with the latest enhancement to SED technology, the risk of data theft is reduced in cases where the drive is removed from its defined host environment and connected to an unknown system.

Scott Wright, product manager of Toshiba’s storage device division, said customer sampling and volume production of the MKxx61GSYG models will occur in the second quarter and Toshiba would focus on working closely with targeted OEMs and security ISVs to help them integrate the latest wipe technology features. "Digital systems vendors recognize the need to help their customers protect sensitive data from leakage or theft," he said. "Toshiba’s security technologies provide designers of copiers, printers, PCs, and other systems with new capabilities to help address these important security concerns."