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Seagate Technology this week released to the channel a new option to add full disk encryption to enterprise-class hard drives.

Designed to offer a cost-effective means for highly regulated enterprises in such industries as health care and finance to comply with security mandates, Seagate’s Secure Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) technology has long been an option within the company’s collection of laptop hard drives. Though many enterprises don’t need to worry about the portability of traditional desktop hard drives the way they do for laptop disks, SED helps to protect data at rest throughout the entire hardware lifecycle, particularly at the end of that lifecycle. For example, Seagate claims that 90 percent of drives returned for warranty contain readable data.

"The use of SEDs provides businesses with complete data-at-rest protection against information breaches that can occur in drives and systems that have been repurposed, decommissioned, disposed of, sent for repair, misplaced or stolen,” Eric Oullet, vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. “Because all disk media eventually leaves a company’s control, the use of SEDs ensures that data is protected at these critical stages of a system’s life cycle."

Seagate announced that it is working with both Intel and LSI to create a working hardware ecosystem for VARs and system integrators to build systems that are both secure and easy to use. Intel and LSI will ship local key management and 6Gb/s SAS technology with TCG-based security within their controller and server products that integrate with Seagate SED technology.

The idea is to put better security options in the hands of smaller IT departments, says David Brown, general manager of Channel Server Products at Intel.

"Small to medium-sized enterprises can become more vulnerable to the risks of a data breach, a situation that can quickly become catastrophic and costly," Brown said in a statement. "This is a smart and easy way to help ensure that intellectual property remains protected.