Seagate's encrypted hard drive gets security boost

FIPS 140-2 approval to help sales to US government

Seagate's Momentus Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) has become the first encrypted laptop hard drive to get the critical FIPS 140-2 certification that the company hopes will finally help boost its sales to US and Canadian government organisations.

Normally, FIPS 140-2 is just another important check box for security products that want a slice of the government market, but right now the stakes seem higher for the Momentus.

As the company itself admits, sales of self-encrypting laptop hard drives have been modest at around 1 million units since the drive's release in 2006. That sounds like a lot of drives, but the equivalent of barely quarter of a million drives per year is a miniscule number when set against sales of non-encrypted hard drives, which number hundreds of millions in a year.

"The low-hanging fruit will be the military," said Seagate's Momentus SED product marketing manager, Joni Clark. Having NIST-approved certification was essential for procurement in this space, she said.

Achieving FIPS 140-2 after a three-year process would also help the SED in business markets as well as with foreign governments and public sector organisations, fired by an increased interest in self-encrypting drives for insecure devices such as laptops.

"There is work to do in the sector but adoption is coming," she said.

Seagate has been pushing hard with self-encrypting hard drives, forging a partnership with Dell in 2009 to help shift self-encrypting hard drives for more mainstream use, including by business laptop users.

NIST FIPS 140-2 won't be enough on its own; the company also needs other drive vendors to embrace the self-encryption technology.

Despite being a hard drive with onboard encryption, one complication that might have helped slow take-up by rival vendors is the need to integrate third-party management systems with the drive firmware. Seagate's environment for doing this is called DriveTrust.

Things have improved on the front since the drive's 2006 launch - there are now several completing management systems to choose from - but the real boost will come when other hardware vendors offer a separate path for buying drives themselves.

"When you are a sole source some see this as a weakness," admitted Clark.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Seagate Technologystoragesecurity

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?