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Hardware encryption locks tapes

IBM and Sun have introduced hardware encryption systems for their high-end tape drives that work with mainframes and open systems.

The technology could offer a cost-effective way for users to secure data and meet compliance and data protection requirements.

Hardware-based encryption generally has a lower impact on the performance of back-up servers than software-based encryption, and it can perform encryption after data is compressed and written to tape.

“Encryption is one of the lowest-cost risk mitigation tools available and, if aggressively deployed, will greatly reduce the number of data breaches due to lost or stolen equipment,” said Cal Braunstein, executive director of research at analyst firm Robert Frances Group.

IBM’s System Storage TS1120 integrates encryption and encryption management facilities. It has three different encryption management methods. Two of them (library, and system encryption management), use the Java-based IBM Encryption Key Manager, which generates and distributes encryption keys for the tape drives.

For the third method (application-managed encryption), IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager back-up and recovery software is used to automatically generate and communicate encryption keys for the drives. 

Sun has introduced device-level tape encryption and key management for its Storagetek Crypto Ready T10000 tape drives. It supports multiple operating systems and the AES-256 encryption algorithm.

 

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