High-Density Devices. As Figure 1 shows, HDD's SecureD technology is a hardware module that works with any standard off-the-shelf hard drive. SecureD sits in what traditionally has been a direct connection between the CPU and hard drive. The module includes a reader that works with smart cards functioning as removable access keys.
SecureD Desktop and SecureD Laptop are packaged with internal drives. HDD also bundles its smartcard reader with a standard 120-gigabyte external hard drive and controller that connect to systems via FireWire or Universal Serial Bus technology.
A user can configure SecureD either to lock all data cryptographically as soon as the key is removed or to continue decrypting for a designated period of time after removal, thereby allowing others to access the information temporarily if desired.
LaCie. LaCie's d2 SAFE external hard drives for desktop and laptop computers use AES encryption and fingerprint-based biometric keys, said Marie Renouard, the company's product manager.
The system takes readings of authorized users' fingerprints, calculates hash values for them, and then stores the information as well as each person's permitted level of system access. People who want to work with a system pass a fingertip over a sensor, and if their fingerprint's hash value matches that of an authorized user, they gain access. Registered users can swipe a finger across the sensor to relock their systems.
d2 SAFE drives also offer adjustable power-usage levels to conserve energy.
Seagate. Seagate sells encryption-enabled hard drives for digital video recorders and plans to release other models for internal use in laptops and eventually servers soon.
The company targets big organizations ordering large numbers of high-end hard drives at one time. Thus, its DriveTrust products simplify the administration process. They include a standard API and a software developer's kit to let companies write applications that, for example, manage and update keys, report on disk usage, and handle authentication.
The top DriveTrust models use two ASICs to achieve high throughput.
Current DriveTrust products rely on Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard). However, Willett said, the upcoming Momentus line of drives will offer the stronger AES. The disks use password-based keys and an optional thumbprint-based biometric approach.
Stonewood Electronics. Stonewood's FlagStone technology integrates data storage, AES encryption, and authentication into internal and portable disk drives for desktop and laptop computers. The drives offer storage capacities between 30 and 120 gigabytes and operate across multiple operating systems and applications.
The products present authentication requests as the BIOS process begins. Each requires different types and levels of authentication, depending on the desired security level, to continue the bootup process and enable hard-drive access. For example, FlagStone Corporate requires a single password, FlagStone Baseline Plus requires two passwords, and FlagStone Enhanced requires a password and a token.