Seagate preps hard-disk encryption technology

Seagate has added a security feature to some of its products that encrypts data on the drives, helping protect the data even if the drive is stolen.

Seagate Technology will start shipping next year a security technology for some of its hard-disk drives that will make life more difficult for notebook PC thieves to read stolen data, it said Tuesday.

The technology, called Hardware-Based Full Disc Encryption (FDE), automatically encrypts all the data written to the drive, according to Mark Pastor, strategic marketing senior director at Seagate.

"Before data gets placed on the media, it goes through the encryption...if you steal the drive and are a lab that specializes in retrieving data on the media, it doesn't matter. When you get the data off, it's gibberish," he said.

The encryption is Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard), a widely used encryption standard, he said.

The company is initially offering the FDE technology as an option on its upcoming range of 2.5-inch Momentus 5400 series drives. These drives will start shipping in the first half of next year and are designed for notebook PCs, Pastor said.

"Notebook PCs have two key attributes: they are used by a lot of business travellers and they are easily lost or stolen. Protecting notebooks is our first priority," he said.

The technology will be available for notebook PC makers on 40G-byte, 80G-byte and 120G-byte versions of the Momentus 5400-series drives, which will have a spin speed of 5,400 rpm and use the Ultra ATA-100 interface.

The hard-disk drives with the encryption technology will have exactly the same performance as the drives in the series that don't use the technology. But the drives with the security feature will be more expensive, Pastor said. Pricing for the drives was not available.

Seagate estimates that about 10 percent of the Momentus 5400 series could be shipped with the security technology. If the feature catches on, the company will extend the option to a broader range of disks, he said.

In addition to offering the FDE technology, Seagate will offer software tools to customers so that they are able to add their own security features, for example biometric systems such as fingerprint scanners, to work with Seagate's technology, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Kallender

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?