The hardware encryption method in which USB device is unlocked once it completes the login procedure and the operating system considers it as a ‘media inserted’ event.
Hardware encryption is the process of encryption of data on hardware using complex mathematical functions and procedures. The data is protected by a key or password and can be accessed only by those authorized personnel only. This provides a layer of security against online threats and hackers. It is a cost effective solution for data security.
Advantages of Hardware Encryption:
The advantage of hardware encryption is that typical drawbacks of software-based solutions such as performance degradation, and attacks on the encryption key stored in memory are eliminated. When a file is written on the hardware, a specialized software encrypts that file. When it is read from the drive, software encrypts it leaving all other data encrypted on the hardware.
The process of encryption and decryption are transparent to all the applications, such as databases, word processors, spreadsheets, or imaging programs. A computer equipped with hardware encryption appears as any other computer functions. For instance, Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate editions have a hardware encryption program, known as BitLocker which has two-factor authentication.
Why hardware encryption should be preferred over software encryption:
Hardware encryption is a fast, convenient, and reliable solution. It doesn’t require system resources for the process of encryption or decryption, so system performance is improved. Since, the cost required for maintenance is less as hardware encrypted drives do not need to be updated. The costs regarding traditional software solutions have been eliminated in hardware encrypted drives. These devices are easy to reset, so it reduces the time to be invested in erasing disk data or scrubbing the drive.
Aegis had launched its hardware encryption system ‘Aegis Padlock’, which offers 128 or 256 bit AES real-time encryption with the built-in Initio 1607 cryptographic engine. It also creates a secure path between host computer and itself that keeps all the data secured on the drive. The way its operating system works is a special security feature included in the Aegis Padlock. The operating system of the Aegis Padlock considers as a removable device in ‘media not present’ state as USB is connected. So accessing the drive is not possible before PIN login procedure is completed. The device is unlocked once it completes the login procedure and the operating system considers it as a ‘media inserted’ event.
Analysts studying the hardware encryption market have presented a thorough information about changing market trends in research reports. Recently, Allied Market Research has published a report titled, “World Hardware Encryption Market - Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 -2020.” As per the report, the world hardware encryption market is expected to register a CAGR of 54.6% from 2015 to 2020 and would reach $296.4 billion by 2020. The report offers a comprehensive analysis of market segmentation, value chain analysis, and competitive scenario. Furthermore, the study provides SWOT analysis, estimations through 2015 to 2020 for each segment, and dominating segments in the industry.