What is A Self-encrypted hard drive ?

Posted by admin1 | Posted in Technology | Posted on 18-05-2013


Self-encrypted hard drives, or SEDs, are a type of hard disk drive that contain a circuit that is built directly into the disk controller. This circuit performs encryption and decryption automatically – and completely separately from the operating system. This means that the encryption keys do not reside in the computer’s memory or processor where they would otherwise have the potential for being hacked. The same is true of user authentication. Since this important, highly sensitive information is never placed in RAM, hackers cannot hack the encrypted drive during the pre-boot process.

Why get a self-encrypted hard drive when other less expensive options are available? Not only are SEDs better protected during the pre-boot process, they take operator error out of the equation. How many times have you meant to encrypt a file but got sidetracked and forgot to do it? How many times have you opted not to encrypt a file that probably should have been encrypted due to the hassle involved or out of a sense of urgency? With an SED, encryption takes place automatically – every time. You don’t need to think about it, and the entire process takes place in the background.

In order to use a self-encrypted hard disk, you will need to provide a password. This password is recognized by the SED and used to encrypt and decrypt the contents of the drive. SEDs use two keys: the Media Encryption Key (which encrypts and decrypts the “media”) and the Key Encryption Key (which is your password or “key”). The Key Encryption Key is used to lock and unlock the drive (Source: WinMagic Self Encrypting Hard Drives).

Whether you need a fail-safe way to ensure that you never forget to encrypt another file or want to ensure the integrity of data within a network of users, self-encrypted drives take the guesswork out of file encryption and protect against pre-boot attacks.

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