Govt contest to pick full disk encryption solution

In 90 days, the federal government will pick the full disk encryption product that will be used on millions of US computers.

The federal government is conducting a side-by-side competition for the best full disk encryption product, the winner to be selected as the standard solution for encryption on all US government computers. Reports the Full Disk Encryption forum:

This implementation will end up being the largest single implementation ever, and all of the information regarding the competition is in the public domain. The selected product will be deployed on Millions of computers in the US federal government space. The evaluation will come to a end in 90 days (from Dec. 26, 2006.)

With such a huge opportunity in play, all major FDE vendors are participating: Seagate, Mobile Armor, Pointsec, SafeNet, and Credant.

So what is FDE exactly? In a nutshell, it means every byte on the disk - including the operating system - is encrypted.

Full disk encryption has several benefits compared to regular file or folder encryption, or encrypted vaults. The following are some benefits of full disk encryption:

1. Everything including the swap space and the temporary files are encrypted. Encrypting these files is important, as they can reveal important confidential data.

2. With full disk encryption, the decision of which files to encrypt is not left up to users.

3. Support for pre-boot authentication.