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Data destruction: When data should disappear

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Encrypt data
Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, MA, believes encryption is one of the most effective ways to destroy data. For example, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Corp. recently introduced an encryption feature for users looking to step up the security of their archive. The patent-pending technology, which is referred to as "secret sharing," allows users to store their security key within the Hitachi Content Archive Platform and "secretly share" that key across multiple nodes within the archive. In doing so, HDS claims only a fully operational system--one with all of its nodes connected to the archive--can decrypt the content, meta data and search index. This new software ensures that if a server or storage device is stolen or removed from the cluster, the device's data would be automatically encrypted and unreadable by any other device.

"In the future, that's how we'll deal with all this data because you can't take physical possession of every device and just destroy it," says Oltsik. "There are too many devices, with more coming."

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This was first published in August 2007

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