Seagate’s New Hard Disk Drive Encrypts Data

Seagate Momentus FDE Locks the Data

by Anton Shilov
06/07/2006 | 11:57 PM

The leading hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer Seagate Technology has introduced its new hard disk drive for mobile computers that can automatically encrypt the data stored on it. Even though modern laptops can provide pretty advanced access protection mechanisms, for those, who want to get unauthorized access to something they are not supposed to see, there many possibilities. Momentus 5400.2 FDE eliminates one of them.

 

Seagate said that lost or stolen notebook personal computers (PCs) can cost companies millions of dollars in compromised trade secrets and intellectual property and threaten consumers with the high cost of identify theft. Still, according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2005 National Encryption Survey, the primary reasons organizations cited for not encrypting sensitive or confidential information were concerns about system performance (69%), complexity (44%) and cost (25%).

Momentus 5400.2 FDE performs all cryptographic operations and key management within the drive. For users, only a password is needed to self-authenticate for full drive access, which greatly simplifies the ownership of a computer featuring the technology. The new hard drive carries a special chip that performs 128-bit AES encryption at the speed, which matches the bandwidth of HDD’s interface, e.g. Serial ATA 150Mb/s. Given that the chip is specially tailored for encryption operations, it provides higher energy efficiency compared to software-based approaches, which require the power of the central processing unit.

Momentus 5400.2 FDE can be used with third-party management software to give organizations an easy way to set up and configure the Momentus 5400 FDE drive and automate protection and management of passwords and encryption keys.

Momentus FDE 5400.2 with 5400rpm spindle speed and 8MB cache, will be available in the first half of 2007 in 60GB, 80GB and 160GB capacities for Serial ATA-150 interface. Average seek time is declared to be 12.5ms, inline with current-generation mobile hard drives.