The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) has put forward specifications for three new storage encryption standards.
The specifications outline encryption standards for storage in PCs and datacentres along with a third proposed standard for the SCSI and ATA protocols used by hard disks and other storage systems.
The group hopes that the new 'Opal' standards will give vendors a single blueprint for building and implementing encrypted hard drives.
"Lost and stolen data costs industry and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention loss of credibility, legal issues and lost productivity, " said TCG chairman Robert Thibadeau.
"TCG's approach to trusted storage gives vendors and users a transparent way to fully encrypt data in hardware without affecting performance so that data is safe no matter what happens to the drive."
The TCG is backed by most of the major hardware and storage vendors, and uptake for the new standard is expected to be strong. Many vendors, such as Seagate, have already been offering encrypted drives based on the proposed standard.
"Self-encrypting drives not only deliver Advanced Encryption Standard government-grade encryption, but offer key encryption technology, effectively making existing data unreadable once the encryption key is erased," said Henry Fabian, Seagate's executive director for core marketing.
"This technology is ideal for datacentre drives that are repurposed, reused, recycled or returned for expired lease, repair or warranty."
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