Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

Built-in Headaches

PC hardware vendors are building security capabilities into their systems, but those features may present compatibility problems for IT

The good news is your end users will soon have a bunch of new security capabilities at their disposal. The bad news is those capabilities won't necessarily be compatible with your current security strategy.

Over the last few weeks, PC hardware vendors have been rolling out security technology like beer at Oktoberfest. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced that it will offer optional hardware encryption on all of its new 2.5-inch disk drives, which are expected to ship at a rate of a million units per quarter in early 2007. The AES feature can be turned on or off at the buyer's request.

Hitachi's news followed Monday's announcement of new drives from Seagate Technology, which will not only offer hard drive encryption but also multi-factor authentication options that would make it impossible for unauthorized users to access any data on the hard drive. (See Seagate Unveils Encrypted Notebook Drive.)

And just two weeks ago, PC maker Lenovo began offering PCs with a built-in biometric device that lets users authenticate themselves to the hard drive via a fingerprint. (See Lenovo Uses Utimaco.)

"2007 will be the year for security on client devices," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an IT consultancy. "In the business space, performance isn’t the driver anymore, and security increasingly is. This will define the way many of the vendors compete next year."

On the surface, such advancements would seem to be a boon for businesses, which have been troubled with security breaches caused by lost laptops and other exploits that give attackers access to a single PC. In the coming year, the damage done by PC theft could be significantly reduced by built-in features that prevent thieves from accessing sensitive information on the devices they steal, experts say.

But for IT managers, the new capabilities could create administrative nightmares. Many IT departments are already deploying encryption software that performs many of the same functions now being built into disk drives, and most already have authentication technologies and processes that may not work with the technologies now rolling out from vendors like Seagate.

"Built-in security items will cause IT department headaches," says Richard Stiennon, founder of IT-Harvest, an IT consulting firm. "The enterprise would have to standardize on the new Seagate drives or be looking for hard drive encryption help for particular projects."

As a result, many IT organizations will probably forbid the use of the new security technologies, Stiennon says. But as users bring their own machines into the network, the compatibility problems could happen anyway.

Hitachi, Lenovo, and Seagate emphasized that their new security capabilities are optional, and can be turned off in cases where an enterprise has an alternative technology already in place.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

  • Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST)
  • Lenovo Group Ltd.
  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)

    Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
    Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
    Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
    Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-25789
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
    An issue was discovered in Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) before 2020-09-16. The cached_url feature mishandles JavaScript inside an SVG document.
    CVE-2020-25790
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
    ** DISPUTED ** Typesetter CMS 5.x through 5.1 allows admins to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via a .php file inside a ZIP archive. NOTE: the vendor disputes the significance of this report because "admins are considered trustworthy"; however, the behavior "contradicts our secu...
    CVE-2020-25791
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
    An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with unit().
    CVE-2020-25792
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
    An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with pair().
    CVE-2020-25793
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
    An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with From<InlineArray<A, T>>.