SED (Self-Encrypting Drive)

Hardware-based full disk encryption (FDE) is available from many hard disk drive (HDD) vendors, including: iStorage Limited, Seagate Technology, Hitachi, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba and also solid-state drive vendors such as OCZ, SanDisk, Samsung, Micron and Integral Memory.

The symmetric encryption key is maintained independently from the CPU, thus removing computer memory as a potential attack vector. In relation to hard disk drives, the term Self-encrypting drive (SED) is in more common usage.

Hardware-FDE has two major components: the hardware encryptor and the data store. There are currently three varieties of hardware-FDE in common use:

  • Hard disk drive (HDD) FDE (usually referred to as SED)
  • Enclosed hard disk drive FDE
  • Bridge and Chipset (BC) FDE
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