[ISN] Self-Encrypting Hard Drives Face Perception Challenge

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 02:33:40 -0500 (CDT)

By Mathew J. Schwartz 
May 09, 2011

One-third of security professionals who handle encryption don't 
understand self-encrypting hard disk drives. In particular, they're 
unsure whether the drives are better or worse than software-based 
encryption for preventing tampering, managing encryption, or handling 
authentication keys.

Those findings come from a recent survey of 517 IT practitioners who are 
at least familiar with self-encrypting drives, conducted by Ponemon 
Institute, and sponsored by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), which 
promotes hardware-based, vendor-neutral security specifications.

Today, when full disk encryption is used on a PC, software-based 
approaches are the norm, with 85% of survey respondents saying that's 
their primary approach. According to the survey, however, 70% of IT 
professionals also think that self-encrypting drives would help their 
organization to protect data, but many worry about the related hardware 
cost. Perhaps counter-intuitively, 37% of respondents also said that 
they "would pay a premium" for related data security improvements, 
according to the study.

As that range of responses and awareness levels suggests, 
self-encrypting drives currently face an awareness challenge. "There are 
real advantages to hardware-based encryption solutions, which are 
obvious, but there are perceptions that they're costly, unwieldy, … or 
might even cause diminished end-user productivity," said Larry Ponemon, 
chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, in a telephone interview.


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Received on Tue May 10 2011 - 00:33:40 PDT

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