Samsung adds full disk encryption to solid state drives

Samsung adds full disk encryption to solid state drives

Summary: Wave Systems and Samsung announced today new self-encrypting solid state drives that automatically encrypt information as it is saved to the drive, "an industry first" for SSDs, the companies say.While full disk encryption is a standard feature on typical HDDs, SSDs are a different story.

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TOPICS: Samsung, Hardware
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Wave Systems and Samsung announced today new self-encrypting solid state drives that automatically encrypt information as it is saved to the drive, "an industry first" for SSDs, the companies say.

While full disk encryption is a standard feature on typical HDDs, SSDs are a different story. Samsung's drives -- which come in 256-, 128- and 64 GB flavors -- are bundles with Wave's EMBASSY management software and "are now available through at least one major OEM," which some say is Dell.

They are also the first solid state drives to incorporate hardware-based encryption, the company says.

Benefits of hardware encryption over today’s software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security and an “always on” feature. Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or by application software. This hardware FDE approach is considered more secure and less complex to manage.

The performance benefits of SSDs are hotly debated, and Samsung says that unlike traditional HDDs, SSD performance is not impacted by the full disk encryption. Samsung also boasts better reliability and heat dissipation for the drives, as well as "two to five times faster overall performance" and "longer battery life in notebook PCs." All good things for business and IT.

Wave's EMBASSY Remote Administration Server software that allows an IT administrator to remotely turn on a solid state drive and provide event logs for compliance is available separately.

Say what you will of the merits of solid state drives, but Samsung's self-encrypting SSDs will be available in both 1.8-in. and 2.5-in. form factors. No word on price, but I'll let you speculate in the comments.

Solid state drives on ZDNet Reviews:

Topics: Samsung, Hardware

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Only as good as the trapdoor keys they give to the Feds

    How bulletproof is the encryption? Does the manufacturer keep a master key or give it to whatever gov't that asks for it (China, US, whoever).
    terry flores