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Samsung adds encryption to consumer SSDs; Dell to ship in notebooks

Samsung is claiming it’s the first to ship a consumer solid state drive (SSD) with full-disk encryption (FDE) through a new partnership with security vendor Wave Systems Corp. The 256GB, 128GB, and 64GB SSDs will be available in both 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors. Dell says it will ship the drives in its Latitude line of desktops and notebooks.

Samsung’s drives generate and store encryption keys and access credentials are in the drive hardware, and they are never held in the operating system or by application software. When ordered in a new computer, the drives will come bundled with Wave’s Embassy Trusted Drive Manager software for life cycle management of the drive. Teh software includes pre-boot authentication, enrolls drive administrators and users, and enables backup of drive credentials. Available separately, Wave’s Embassy Remote Administration Server allows an IT administrator to remotely turn on SSDs and adds event logs for compliance.

It probably won’t be long before full-disk encryption also hits the enterprise SSD space. It’s already working its way in on the spinning-disk side, where it’s being pushed by drive maker Seagate, controller maker LSI and systems vendor IBM. Multiple converging standards for key management are also being developed for the enterprise.

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