Tuesday 27 July 2010

Review: encrypted hard drive, unlocked by fingerprint

Richi Jennings's picture   The Long View (Computerworld)

I don't know about you, but I'm fed up of reading news about how yet another company has carelessly lost yet another batch of private customer data. Sadly, the story is all too familiar: Typically, an employee takes a copy of the data away on some sort of portable storage, which inexplicably goes missing.

I mean, how hard can it be to make sure that the data are encrypted? Actually, pretty hard, as it turns out -- at least for 'regular' users.

Software-based whole drive encryption can be a pain to use, if Joe the marketing guy just want to take his stuff home to work on. Odds are that the version of Windows he has at home doesn't include BitLocker, Microsoft's native Windows disk encryption scheme -- if he uses Mac OS at home, fuggetaboudit. And add-on software such as TrueCrypt are just that -- add-ons, which can be too much of a roadblock for 'average' users.

Enter: automatic, hardware encryption, where the cryptography magic and its user authentication are contained within the storage device itself. Apricorn, Inc., based near San Diego, sent me one of its latest biometric devices for review -- the Aegis Bio (in this case, the new 640 GB version).

Let's see how it performed...

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