Self-Erasing Hard Drives Introduced by Toshiba - Page 2
They work through built-in, self-programmed security tools that are inherent to the drive itself. The drives use the Opal specification for security technology, considered the international standard and administered by the Trusted Computing Group.
All of selected parts of the data on the drive can be set to be kept securely. It can be designated as 'kept securely' or as 'wipe if attempted.' So the data can either be encrypted (and that's it) or it can be encrypted and labeled to be securely wiped automatically if unauthorized access is attempted.
One thing that triggers the security measures is when the drive is plugged into a computer it doesn't recognize. So if it's removed from a notebook and plugged into another computer to pull the data from it, it will trigger security protocols.
The drives are mainly meant for portable devices that are not the main storage medium for the data. So a salesman or government notebook computer could use one of these drives with the main source of the data being held on secure servers within the company or department.
Why This is Big
This is a big deal because, until now, secure data storage on the go was not really an option. This technology will now allow IT departments operating in a secure environment to give access to some data by devices that are not, themselves, inherently secure.
Expect other drive manufacturers to release similar devices in the next couple of years to compete.