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Integral Launches Crypto Series SSDs with 256-bit AES Encryption


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Memory and storage specialist Integral has launched Crypto SSD, its first range of solid-state drives (SSDs) to feature military-level, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256-bit hardware encryption. As well as the secure, convenient and low-cost protection of sensitive data, the new drives offer all the benefits of solid-state storage. This includes low-power operation, silent running, rapid boot time and, as there are no moving parts, higher reliability and enhanced resistance to shock and vibration.

Protecting sensitive data through encryption is becoming a mandatory requirement for a wide range of organisations as bodies such as the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) impose increasingly severe penalties for data protection breaches resulting from lost and stolen computers. Crypto SSD is a ‘fit and forget’ solution with a low total cost of ownership (TCO) that will allow banks, law firms, educational establishments, healthcare professionals, local government and a variety of other business and public sector organisations to meet their data protection obligations.

Developed in the UK and available in capacities from 32GB to 256GB, the new FIPS 197-validated Crypto SSDs extend Integral’s Crypto brand from its successful range of encrypted USB drives. The high-speed SSDs can be fitted to laptops and desktop PCs in a matter of minutes. As well as quick configuration, Crypto SSD uses hardware-based full disk encryption (FDE) to offer a higher level of security than software-only encryption. Furthermore, unlike software, the disks place no additional overhead on the processor and, with no requirement for ongoing licence fees, deliver lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

With Crypto SSD all of the data on the drive, including the operating system, is 256-bit AES encrypted at system shutdown. The security system is BIOS-independent and a user can only access the disk and initiate Windows® boot-up by entering the correct high-strength 8-16 character alphanumeric password. In the event of a brute force password attack all encrypted data is automatically erased after a pre-set number of failed password attempts. The data and encryption key are securely destroyed and the Crypto SSD is reset. In addition, once encryption has been set, it is not possible to clone the Crypto drive.

Offering a multi-lingual interface that significantly simplifies global deployments, the SSDLock program supplied with Crypto SSD provides an easy-to-use, intuitive interface for system configuration. Using the SSDLock program the number of failed password attempts that are allowed can be set at between 6 and 20 and administrators have the option to create both a user password and a master override password. This allows the administrator to unlock the Crypto SSD in the event that the user forgets their password.

Unlike other drives where the disk identifier is factory set by the manufacturer, Crypto SSD, via the SSDLock program, also gives administrators the flexibility to allocate each disk a unique or company-wide identifier. This significantly simplifies the implementation and management of endpoint security solutions in which only certain computers and devices may be allowed on the network, or where administrators want to limit and control certain users’ access to company data and applications.

Samik Halai Integral’s security product manager, comments: “As recent actions by the UK ICO clearly illustrate, companies and public sector bodies face significant penalties for even the smallest data protection breach. In an environment where simply locking away a computer is no longer deemed an adequate defence against negligence, it is becoming essential to encrypt data on laptops and PCs containing sensitive data. As a ‘fit and forget’ solution, Crypto SSD allows organisations to meet their obligations under data protection laws, provides many advantages over software alternatives, and delivers all the benefits of SSD technology ranging from improved productivity to increased battery life.”

Developed to be both tamper-proof and rugged, Crypto SSDs feature a design in which all drive electronics are sealed in epoxy resin and then shielded by a metal outer case.

Crypto SSDs are compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows 7 and are available now from a number of leading UK resellers including Insight, Equanet, Computacenter, Misco and SCC. Suggested retail prices (ex-VAT) are £128.99 (32GB), £169.99 (64GB), £230.99 (128GB) and £301.99 (256GB). A two-year warranty is standard for all models.