Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:15

Crucial MX-series SSD: AES 256-bit hardware self-encryption for security and protection

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With ‘top-level, government-grade’ hardware encryption that ‘meets or exceeds all industry encryption standards,’ Crucial wants to enhance your data security and protect business.

Improving data security requires extra precautions, according to SSD maker Crucial (now owned by Micron) , who says ‘it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.’

The company says that ‘data can be protected by swapping out vulnerable preinstalled hard drives and encrypting data at the highest level.’

Mathew Luu, Micron Consumer Products Group Marketing Manager, APAC, explained: “Not only can you protect your data this way but you can also work faster by using products like Crucial MX-series SSDs. Data stored on business systems is an asset – and a liability. Like any asset, it’s worth protecting, and like any liability, it’s worth mitigating.

“From customer credit card information to personal identification numbers, email lists, and internal policies and product/service roadmaps, confidential data is stored on nearly every computer and server, meaning these systems are vulnerable in the event of accidental loss and are high-value targets for hackers and data thieves.”

Jonathan Weech, Crucial SSD Senior Product Line Manager says he has ‘long explained to Crucial clients that there is also good news in this situation as these threats to data security can be diminished.’

Weech said: “If you needed someone to protect you, you’d rather have a strong, muscular person than a skinny bodyguard. When it comes to data security, the choice is similar – hardware-based encryption is a much stronger option for protecting data than software-based encryption, or worst of all, no encryption.”

Crucial states that ‘common threats to data security are many and include hackers breaching a system’s security and capturing customers’ payment information. There’s also the stolen or lost laptop that fell into the wrong hands and hackers who have gained access to information regarding a product in development, then sold it to a competitor.’

Weech added, “Businesses rely on confidential data, which includes customer payment information, personal records, or internal product roadmaps. Using self-encrypting SSDs to lock up your data helps protect the integrity and confidentiality of your data, and help protect you from lawsuits.”

Crucial advise that ‘the best way to protect data stored on servers, desktops, or laptops is to encrypt it at the hardware level on a device’s storage drive. It’s a critical data security step, but it’s often overlooked.

‘This is because new systems often come with low-grade preinstalled hard drives which often lack encryption technology. If the hard drive does offer encryption, it’s typically software-based, which is one of the weakest forms of encryption. Software-based encryption also slows down system performance and still leaves data at risk of being compromised.’

Where self-encrypting drives differ is that they ‘use an encryption engine built into the SSD’s controller to encrypt every file stored on the drive.’

Naturally, Crucial tells us that its ‘MX-series SSDs include a state-of-the-art 256-bit AES encryption engine so performance doesn’t suffer. This also means that as the technology in SSDs is inherently faster than hard drives, business can work faster and improve productivity while simultaneously strengthening data security.’

More below, please read on.

And Crucial is clearly proud to boast that its SSDs have been used to improve data security and accelerate performance in many industries including:

  • Insurance offices with data to protect including:
    • customer identifying information and claims;
    • claim history software
    • Programs to speed up include:
      • Microsoft Office
      • customer relationship management (CRM) software
      • databases
  • Medical offices with data to protect including:
    • electronic medical records
    • billing information
    • Programs to speed up include:
      • Microsoft Office
      • practice management and medical records software
      • medical technology applications
  • Law firms with data to protect including:
    • case history
    • evidence
    • contracts
    • and client information
    • Programs to speed up:
    • Microsoft Office
    • case and practice management software
  • Financial and accounting firms with data to protect including:
    • tax
    • income, and
    • personal identification information
  • Programs to speed up include:
    • Microsoft Office,
    • accounting software,
    • QuickBooks,
    • CRM,
    • databases.

The bottom line, says Crucial, is that ‘losing data that a business has a legal obligation to protect can be very expensive.’

Crucial boasts its ‘MX-series SSDs utilise top-level, government-grade AES 256-bit hardware encryption that meets or exceeds all industry encryption standards, including Microsoft eDrive, IEEE-1667, and TCG Opal 2.0.,’ and that by ‘safeguarding data by swapping out vulnerable preinstalled hard drives, encrypting data at the highest level and improving system speed and performance is not only possible, it’s easy.’

Jonathan Weech concluded, “The data hackers can gain access to from just one laptop without hardware-based encryption can destroy a business. Intellectual property and customer information is stored on nearly every system, and that’s the information hackers want. By using products like self-encrypting Crucial® MX-series SSDs the threat of data theft is significantly reduced.”

Crucial MX200 product highlights

  • Best-in-class hardware encryption keeps data safe and secure
  • Exclusive Data Defence guards against data corruption
  • Sequential reads/writes up to 555 / 500 MB/s on all file types
  • Random reads/writes up to 100k / 87k IOPS on all file types
  • Up to 5x more endurance than a typical client SSD
  • Over 2x more energy efficient than a typical hard drive
  • Dynamic Write Acceleration delivers faster saves and file transfers
  • Adaptive Thermal Protection allows for adaptive cooling
  • Power Loss Protection completes write commands even if power is lost
  • Includes Acronis True Image HD software for free data transfer

Crucial also advises that ‘Encryption must be enabled through third-party software, such as Microsoft BitLocker or Apple FileVault to secure data on a system. The encryption feature is automatic on Crucial MX-series SSDs, but must be installed in systems that support AES 256-bit encryption.’

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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