Samsung's new solid-state drive (SSD) feature built-in hardware
encryption for protection against unauthorized access to
information on a lost or stolen laptop.
The Samsung SSD features hardware-based self-encryption to
protect confidential data from unauthorized access. This security
capability is based on the Trusted Computing Group?s Opal
standard and features stronger 256-bit Advanced Encryption
Standard (AES) keys. The hardware encryption is always on, and
both the data encryption and user authentication are performed in
the high security of the drive controller, rather than being
stored in software. Software encryption performs encryption using
the main CPU of the PC and stores protected data in the insecure
memory of the system; in contrast, self-encrypting drives (SEDs)
encrypt data at interface speed with no impact on performance
within the protected hardware of the SSD.
According to Samsung's research, the company's self-encrypting
SSD are showing superior performance for a system equipped with a
self-encrypting SSD over others using software encryption. Test
results showed that a notebook PC system equipped with a
self-encrypting SSD attained a 2.4 times higher level of overall
performance than an SSD with software encryption and 3.7 times
higher performance level than an HDD with software encryption.
Key drive attributes include AES encryption capability extended
to 256 bit keys and firmware in the drive can be securely
updated. In addition, the drive is in the process of attaining
FIPS 140-2 certification. FIPS 140-2 is a set of widely
acknowledged cryptography requirements issued by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The Samsung SSD also supports a variety of management software.
SSD?s self-encryption and management software work together as
essential parts of a fully managed hardware-based encryption
solution. Among client software that Samsung SSD supports is
EMBASSY Trusted Drive Manager from Wave Systems. It provides
backup and recovery for user passwords; manages advanced security
settings; and enables pre-boot authentication and single sign-on
Besides its security advantages, the Samsung SSD for corporate
PCs provides sequential read/write speeds of up to 250/220 MB/s,
and weighs 25 percent less than most traditional HDDs.