Dell ships laptops with self-encrypting drives

Seagate announces the availability of its new, higher-capacity, self-encrypting Momentus drives

While Cahalin had already been using third-party software to encrypt data, he said the hardware-based encryption of Seagate's is far less onerous to manage. Unlike software-based encryption, there is no learning curve, no experimenting with applications and no overhead associated with performing full-disk encryption or worrying about upgrades.

Cahalin said it will also give him peace of mind that when his laptops reach end of life, the data can be deleted using Seagate's cryptographic erase feature. This deletes the keys so that the data cannot be unencrypted.

"There's what you want to do, and then there's what happens in the real world. In the real world, when a desktop or laptop comes to end of life, you're supposed to shred [encrypt] the data," Cahalin said. "But they end up sitting there on a shelf -- and eventually somebody comes along and wants to get rid of this stuff, so you see them sold in eBay, or maybe someone comes along and offers to take them off your hands, but they still have the data on them."

According to Privacyrights.org, a nonprofit consumer education and advocacy project, approximately half of all laptop data breaches happen at Fortune 1000 companies. "So these folks are the ones we're really targeting our solutions at," said Joni Clark, product marketing manager for Seagate's Personal Compute business unit.

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