Hitachi plugs encryption in new hard drive

Hitachi plugs encryption in new hard drive

Focusing on the growing need for better security and performance in laptops, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies says it is shipping its 200GB, 7200-rpm Travelstar 7K200 hard drive with a new Bulk Data Encryption option to ward off potential piracy or data theft threats.

The 2.5-in. Travelstar 7K200 drive offers a 22 percent performance jump over its 160GB predecessor and 25 percent more capacity. Dell and Alienware have agreed to include the drive on select Dell XPS notebooks and Alienware systems, respectively.

And users looking to squeeze the most capacity out of their laptops can configure dual-hard-drive configurations offering 400GB of space on Dell's XPS M2010 and Alienware's Aurora m9700 models, according to officials at HGST, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Hitachi.

Upping the ante when compared with traditional software-based encryption or system-level password protection for laptops, Hitachi's new Bulk Data Encryption function is provided directly at the hard-disk level. By taking advantage of bulk data encryption, users can scramble data as it is written to the disk by using an encryption key. They can then retrieve the descrambled information when and where they choose by using the same encryption key.

In addition, the Bulk Data Encryption option reduces the need for arduous and time-consuming data-erasing processes when it's time for a hard drive to be jettisoned and discarded. End users only need to delete their encryption key on the Travelstar to keep the hard drive completely unreadable and protected against data theft or malicious activities, according to HGST.

Dell's initial release of the 7200 RPM Travelstar on all Dell XPS notebooks will not offer the Bulk Data Encryption option. Schmuck declined to say when Dell laptops would feature that ability, instead pointing out that consumer demand will likely dictate if and when encryption will be available.

However, he did say that future versions of Dell's corporate-user-focused Latitude laptops will likely feature the option down the road.

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