Hardware Disk Encryption for the Masses, Finally!

PC security is a tough nut to crack. this is especially so if, like Turbo, you work in an environment which needs highly secure PC’s and laptops which can be safely lost!

Turbo has been saying amongst peers for more than a year, that an excellent way to maintain the Integrity of transient data on the machine is Hardware Encryption. It’s such an obvious step: Software encryption will always leave you with that nagging doubt.

Not long after saying this, I found a product from Thales eSecurity called GuardDisk. This UK govt approved box of tricks is a modified disk with a RFID token.

The idea is that as the machine (Laptop) Boots, you stick the token near the lappy. The disk drive reads the ID and the DEK from the token and all is well. The Disk does block encryption/decryption on the fly. Transparent to the machine so run any OS you like. Yes, any.

At a few hundred pounds a pop these are not yet cost effective for everyone though. Worry not: help is at hand. As if the Thales box was not cool enough, similar technology may soon find it’s way into home user machines for no extra cost.
This
article on the ABIT site suggests that ABIT are busy putting hardware based IDE disk encryption technology into their standard motherboards.

Now that sounds both smart and interesting. If only all Manufacturers could innovate like this!

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