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Toshiba Self-Encrypting hard drives “invalidate data” with automatic Wipe technology

Securing data is important, particularly in a corporate environment where business communications can be critically confidential. Combustion is never an environmentally sound solution for handling confidential materials. Making this a bit more green, and simpler, is the new Wipe technology announced by Toshiba today. It works in tandem with the company’s Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) models.

In short, the technology allows for private data to be fundamentally erased from the hard drives when a system is turned off, or when the SED hard drive is removed from the system. This secure erasure is crucial for when machines are returned, serviced, disposed, re-purposed, or otherwise taken away.

The idea started with notebook computers and all the data that their hard drives could contain coming from data sensitive environments, but it also extends into the realm of copiers, printers, and other similar machines which store images and private data. Many of these systems contain hard drives and, well, you don’t want to keep an image of that confidential social security number, or other valuable document available to peering eyes.

By using Wipe Technology, the data is automatically “invalidated” by the hard drive itself, which is faster than over-write data erasure or physical destruction methods. Not a bad idea from Toshiba.

Toshiba Announces Wipe Technology for Self-Encrypting Disk Drives
New technology improves data security and reduces the risk of data leakage associated with document image data stored on copier and printer systems
10 Aug, 2010

Tokyo—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced Wipe for Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) models, a technology that allows special security capabilities, such as the world’s first[1] ability for sensitive user data to be securely erased when a system is powered-down or when a SED HDD is removed from the system. The feature can also be used to securely erase user data prior to returning a leased system, system disposal or re-purposing. Wipe was created as an enhancement to Toshiba’s Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) hard disk drives.

Toshiba announced its latest 2.5″ 7200rpm SED HDD model in July 2010, to address the increasing need for IT departments to comply with privacy laws and regulations governing data security. Designed to the Trusted Computing Group “Opal” Specification, Toshiba’s SED models provide advanced access security and on-board encryption for client systems such as notebook computers.

But lost or stolen notebooks are not the only security risk that IT departments must address. Today, most office copier and printing systems utilize HDD capacity and performance to deliver a highly productive document imaging environment. Many organizations are now realizing the critical importance of maintaining the security of document image data stored within copier and printer systems. Wipe is a technology that can automatically invalidate an HDD security key when its power supply is turned off, instantly making all data in the drive indecipherable. Toshiba’s innovative new Wipe Technology adds advanced storage security features to enable system makers to transparently and automatically secure private data.

Copier and Printer systems vendors can now use Toshiba’s Wipe Technology to securely invalidate sensitive document image data by automatically erasing the SED’s internal encryption key. This feature can easily be used prior to system disposal or re-purposing to ensure that private data never leaves the control of the responsible business unit or IT department.

Toshiba’s Wipe Technology may be used to set data invalidation attributes for multiple data ranges. This flexibility provides systems designers with a powerful set of data security capabilities that can be easily incorporated into existing system architecture. Attributes include …

– Data encryption and secure invalidation on power cycle.
– Data encryption and preservation on power cycle.

In addition to sensitive data stored on client PCs and removable storage devices, many organizations realize that security of “data at rest” must also extend to document images stored on the hard disk drives within copier and printer systems. Toshiba’s innovative new Wipe Technology provides advanced storage security features to enable systems makers to transparently and automatically secure private data on office copiers, printers and other types of business imaging systems.

[1] As of August 10, 2010, source by Toshiba

[Toshiba]

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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