The Trusted Computing Group has announced publication of three new standards for storage encryption.
It has detailed specifications for encryption standards for storage in both PCs and data centres, along with a third proposed standard for the SCSI and ATA protocols used by hard disks and other storage systems.
The Opal standard is for PC hard drives, the Enterprise Security Subsystem Class Specification is for enterprise hard drives and the final one is for secure interoperability with other storage standards such as SCSI and ATA.
Trusted Computing Group hopes that the ‘Opal' standards will give vendors a single blueprint for building and implementing encrypted hard drives. It is designed to facilitate broad adoption of full disk encryption solutions by creating an open, industry standard that offers improved interoperability across storage vendors, encryption technologies and platforms.
Large hard drive vendors such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, Seagate and Toshiba are to deliver hard drives that support these standards, with management software vendors Secude, Wave Systems and WinMagic also agreeing to join.
Robert Thibadeau, chairman of Trusted Computing Group, said: “Lost and stolen data costs industry and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention loss of credibility, legal issues and lost productivity.
“TCG's approach to trusted storage gives vendors and users a transparent way to fully encrypt data in hardware without affecting performance so that data is safe no matter what happens to the drive.”
Steven Sprague, Wave‘s CEO and president, said: “For businesses worried about protecting confidential data: employee social security numbers; customer credit card numbers; patient medical records; trade secrets – it only makes sense that hardware full disk encryption drives are included every time you buy a new PC. You wouldn‘t think of buying a car without air bags; don‘t buy a new PC without an FDE drive. There‘s never a question of whether encryption is on, it's a set it and forget it.”
Brendan Collins, vice president, product marketing at Hitachi GST, said: “Hitachi is pleased to have participated in the TCG Opal effort to provide standards for data security in hard drives, which now provides the industry with a clear path for the mass adoption of hardware-based encryption.
“It's clear that the future of data protection is hardware-based; encrypted hard drives operate at media speed with no impact to the CPU and no reliance on operating system software for the security of encryption keys and access credentials.”