Which Of The Following Is An Advantage Of Hardware Encryption Over Software Encryption? (TOP 5 Tips)

What is the most important advantage of hardware encryption over software encryption? Software encryption cannot be used on older computers. Hardware encryption is up to 10 times faster than software encryption. Software that performs encryption can be subject to attacks.

What are the advantages of hardware encryption over software encryption?

  • B. Hardware encryption is up to ten times faster than software encryption. C. There are no advantages of hardware encryption over software encryption. D. Software that performs encryption can be subject to attacks.


What is an advantage of hardware encryption over software encryption?

Hardware encryption is safer than software encryption because the encryption process is separate from the rest of the machine. This makes it much harder to intercept or break. The use of a dedicated processor also relieves the burden on the rest of your device, making the encryption and decryption process much faster.

What is the difference between hardware-based encryption and software based encryption?

Hardware-based encryption uses a device’s on-board security to perform encryption and decryption. It is self-contained and does not require the help of any additional software. With SEDs, the encryption is on the drive media where the disk encryption key (DEK) used to encrypt and decrypt is securely stored.

What is hardware and software encryption?

Hardware-based encryption is the use of computer hardware to assist software, or sometimes replace software, in the process of data encryption. Typically, this is implemented as part of the processor’s instruction set.

Is BitLocker hardware or software encryption?

If the drive doesn’t have hardware self-encryption (or you’re using Win7 or 8.1), BitLocker implements software encryption, which is less efficient, but still enforces password protection. The hardware-based self-encryption flaw seems to be present on most, if not all, self-encrypting drives.

What is the purpose of encryption software?

Encryption software is software that uses cryptography to prevent unauthorized access to digital information. Cryptography is used to protect digital information on computers as well as the digital information that is sent to other computers over the Internet.

What do you mean by hardware security?

Hardware security is vulnerability protection that comes in the form of a physical device rather than software that is installed on the hardware of a computer system. The term hardware security also refers to the protection of physical systems from harm.

Is full disk encryption better when the system is powered off or on?

Full disk encryption protects all data on a system, including the operating system. But it only protects the system while it’s turned off. It also doesn’t protect systems from being attacked by hackers over the internet. It only protects against someone who gains physical access to your device.

What is built in device encryption?

Whole-phone encryption means that all the data contained on a device is protected from unauthorised access. You could protect one or more individual files by encrypting them in a secure folder (a default feature on many phones) or by installing an app to do the job.

How fast is hardware encryption?

Hardware AES 256 can perform 10Gbps without significant latency. Hardware encryption is typically much less complex than similar software encryption. And reduced complexity can be translated into less vulnerability to malware and errors.

Is a spreadsheet hardware or software?

A spreadsheet is a software. Hardware is anything you can touch with your hands and it would be made of substance(either solid or liquid) e.g plastic, metal, liquid coolants etc.

What is a hardware based firewall?

A hardware firewall is a physical appliance that is deployed to enforce a network boundary. All network links crossing this boundary pass through this firewall, which enables it to perform inspection of both inbound and outbound network traffic and enforce access controls and other security policies.

How does SSD hardware encryption work?

Hardware encryption sits between the OS installed on the drive and the system BIOS. When the drive is first encrypted, an encryption key is generated and stored on the NAND flash. When the system is first booted, a custom BIOS is loaded and will ask for a user passphrase.

Is cryptography A hardware?

Cryptographic operations can be very expensive when performed in software. Cryptographic hardware acceleration is the use of hardware to perform cryptographic operations faster than they can be performed in software. Hardware accelerators are designed for computationally intensive software code.

How do encryption devices work?

Device encryption is the process of scrambling data into illegible code and making it indecipherable to anyone without a password or a recovery key. The data (referred to as ‘plaintext’) is encoded using an encryption algorithm to turn it into an unreadable format (referred to as ‘ciphertext’).

Hardware Encryption vs. Software Encryption: The Simple Guide

Encryption is a vital weapon in the fight against data theft and identity theft. In the event that your files are encrypted, they will be absolutely illegible unless you have the relevant encryption key on hand. Unless someone manages to steal your encrypted data, they will be unable to access or use them in any way. Hardware encryption and software encryption are the two forms of encryption available. Both have their own set of benefits. So, what exactly are these approaches, and why are they important?

Software Encryption

Software encryption, as the name indicates, encrypts your data through the use of software tools. BitLocker disc encryption feature of Microsoft® Windows® and the1Password password manager are just a few of examples of such products. Both make use of encryption methods to safeguard the information stored on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Software encryption is often accomplished through the use of a password; if you enter the correct password, your files will be decrypted; otherwise, they will stay encrypted.

The same program then uncrambles data as it is read from the disk for an authorized user by using the data that has been scrambled.


Due to the fact that software encryption is often fairly inexpensive to implement, it is quite popular among developers. Furthermore, software-based encryption procedures do not necessitate the purchase of any extra hardware.


Software encryption is only as safe as the rest of your computer or smartphone, which means it is not impenetrable. As soon as a hacker is successful in decrypting your password, the encryption is undone. During the encrypting and decrypting of data, software encryption tools also share the processing resources of your computer, which can cause the entire computer to slow down while data is encrypted and decrypted. Additionally, you will notice that accessing and closing encrypted files will take somewhat longer than usual due to the fact that the procedure is rather resource heavy, particularly for more advanced degrees of encryption.

At the core of hardware encryption is a specialized CPU that performs both authentication and encryption functions simultaneously.

The TouchID fingerprint scanner found on Apple® iPhones® is a fantastic example of this type of technology.

Hardware encryption devices frequently replace traditional passwords with biometric logons (such as fingerprints) or a PIN number input on a keypad that is coupled to the hardware encryption device.


Because the encryption mechanism is isolated from the rest of the system, hardware encryption is considered to be more secure than software encryption.

This makes it far more difficult to intercept or break the signal. The usage of a specialized CPU also alleviates the pressure placed on the rest of your device, resulting in a far speedier encryption and decryption procedure.


Generally speaking, hardware-based encrypted storage is significantly more expensive than a software-based solution for the same purpose. Even though BitLocker is bundled with all new versions of Microsoft Windows, an encrypted USB thumb drive is prohibitively expensive, especially when compared to an unencrypted option, as is the case with BitLocker. The failure of the hardware decryption processor will make it incredibly difficult to gain access to your information.

The Data Recovery Challenge

It is difficult to retrieve data that has been encrypted. Although it is possible to recover the raw sectors from a broken disk, the data is still encrypted, and as a result, the data remains unreadable. Some software encryption solutions, like as BitLocker, provide built-in recovery methods; however, you must set up your recovery choices in advance of using the system. These extra recovery solutions are not normally available for hardware encrypted devices. When a component fails, many cryptographic systems are designed to prevent decryption from taking place, preventing hackers from dismantling them.

This may entail transferring data to another encrypted disk on your computer’s hard drive.

As an extra advantage, most Cloud providers now encrypt the data that their users store on their servers.

What to do if You Have a Problem

The recovery of encrypted data is a difficult task. Although it is possible to recover the raw sectors from a broken disk, the data is still encrypted, and therefore unreadable. Some software encryption solutions, like as BitLocker, provide built-in recovery methods; however, you must set up your recovery choices in advance of encrypting your files. The recovery solutions available for hardware encrypted devices are often limited. When a component fails, many cryptographic systems are designed to prohibit decryption.

To deal with data loss on an encrypted device, the quickest and most efficient solution is to ensure that you have a complete backup saved somewhere secure.

In the case of other devices, such as your smartphone, backing up to the Cloud provides a quick and simple economical duplicate from which you may restore.

A benefit is that most Cloud services now encrypt the data of their customers as well, which is a welcome development. However, if you haven’t set up Cloud storage before your device fails, you may be able to take advantage ofApple recovery, which is provided by a number of data recovery companies.

Tales from the Crypt: Hardware vs Software

When it comes to cybersecurity, encryption is never far from the forefront of discussion. However, the ways that organizations may use to protect their data are diverse. Daniel Brecht explores the advantages and disadvantages of the various alternatives on the table. Data security has risen to the top of the priority list for IT system managers and users alike, as the usage of mobile devices continues to grow and assaults on government networks and company databases become more sophisticated.

Sorting through so many alternative answers, on the other hand, might be a daunting task.

This is not a simple decision to make, and it should not be taken lightly.

Software-Based Encryption

Today, software encryption tools are far more common than hardware encryption solutions. Because they can be used to secure all devices inside an organization, these solutions may be both cost efficient and simple to use, upgrade, and update. They can also be straightforward to implement and maintain. For all major operating systems, software encryption is easily accessible, and it may safeguard data while it is in transit, at rest, or stored on a variety of different devices. The use of software-based encryption frequently includes the incorporation of extra security mechanisms to complement encryption that cannot be obtained directly from the hardware itself.

The amount of protection provided by these solutions, on the other hand, is only as robust as the level of security provided by the device’s operating system.

Encryption software can also be difficult to configure for sophisticated usage, and it is possible that users will disable it on their own initiative.

Hardware-Based Encryption

In order to accomplish encryption and decryption, hardware-based encryption makes advantage of the device’s on-board security. In addition, it is self-contained, and it does not require the assistance of any other program. Because of this, it is almost immune to the risk of contamination, malicious code infection, or vulnerability. It is not necessary to interact with the processes running on the host computer when using a good hardware-based solution while using a device on a host computer. A good hardware-based solution does not require drivers to be loaded.

  1. When it comes to securing sensitive data on a portable device, such as a laptop or a USB flash drive, a hardware-based solution is the most effective; it is equally effective when it comes to protecting data at rest.
  2. When working in a high-security setting, self-encrypted disks (SEDs) are an ideal choice.
  3. The DEK is dependent on a drive controller to automatically encrypt all data being sent to the disk and decode it as it is being transferred away from the drive.
  4. ‘Software is easier because it is more flexible, and hardware is quicker when it is required,’ says the author.
  5. Hardware-based encryption provides more resilience against several common, not-so-sophisticated assaults than software-based encryption.
  6. When using software-based methods, however, hackers may be able to identify and perhaps reset the counters, as well as copy the encrypted file to many PCs in order to conduct multiple concurrent cracking efforts.

Hardware encryption is also related to a specific device, and therefore, a single solution cannot be applied to the complete system and all of its constituent elements. Updates are likewise only possible through the substitution of a device.

The Debate

According to Bruce Schneier, CTO of Resilient Systems and author of the blogSchneier on Security, there is no one solution to the encryption demands of businesses. In his opinion, software is “easier” since it is more adaptable than hardware, and “hardware is quicker when it is required.” In this case, I favor software since I tend to employ both general-purpose hardware and particular software in my computing environment. As a result, all of my email encryption, online encryption, and instant messaging encryption is done through software.

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You couldn’t really make a choice between hardware and software since they are completely interdependent.” Moreover, the solutions employed are dependent on the requirements of each person: “In certain circumstances, you may select, and I’m frequently the one who prefers software solutions.” For example, if you need to purchase a new GPS, the most cost-effective approach is likely to be to download the program onto your existing devices (eg a smartphone).

  1. You will always have the GPS gadget with you, and you will spend far less than you would if you purchased a new GPS unit.
  2. The dangers associated with losing data should be considered, as should the length of time that data must be kept encrypted and how successfully the organization would be able to maintain encryption keys with each solution.
  3. The decision is influenced by a variety of factors.
  4. Clients of the.GOV domain are concerned with getting data categorization properly.” Budget constraints frequently force organizations to forego hardware-based solutions in favor of software-based solutions that can be applied across the board.

Considering mobile working methods while implementing encryption in your business is a wise decision.

Industry Models

In the words of Dan Timpson, CTO of certificate authority DigiCert, “recent security breaches in a variety of industries – including entertainment, retail, and healthcare – remind us that major organizations are not paying enough attention to security best practices.” “In addition, many of these businesses are lacking in fundamental security procedures. Approximately 90 percent of data breaches in 2014 could have been avoided, according to the Online Trust Alliance.” When it comes to data, privacy, or network security breaches, the ramifications are potentially devastating.

  • According to a prior survey by the Ponemon Institute, the average value of a lost laptop is $49,246, with just 2% of the total value accounting for the expenses of hardware replacement.
  • The scale of a corporation might need a different approach in some cases.
  • Many small and medium-sized business owners feel that hostile hackers are mainly interested in larger corporations.
  • The 2014 Internet Security Threat Report published by Symantec revealed that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) accounted for more than half of all targeted assaults (61 percent) in 2013, representing an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

“Using software-based encryption is easy,” says Timpson, “and may be more manageable for a smaller organization that does not have an on-site IT administrator committed to data protection procedures.” “The need to outsource this work brings with it the responsibility to find companies that are trustworthy, as well as vet their products and services to ensure a good fit,” he continues, adding that this is a viable solution only when companies recognize that they “must find companies that are trustworthy, as well as vet their products and services to ensure a good fit.” The introduction of a third party, according to Timpson, “increases the possibility for vulnerability.” Although hardware encryption is perceived to be more expensive than software encryption due to the large initial investments required to supply an entire organization, Timpson believes that “in the long run, hardware can reduce costs with IT labor, user productivity, and licensing fees,” according to Timpson.

  1. So, what is the most effective method of data protection?
  2. When data is at rest, particularly on portable devices, hardware-based encryption is frequently the most effective method of protection.
  3. Authentication should be performed prior to booting in order to ensure that the operating system is not even begun if the user is not allowed.
  4. Data in transit, on the other hand, should be encrypted at the file level, which means that files and folders are individually encrypted and remain encrypted regardless of how and where they are transported.
  5. New ideas and technological advancements may one day be able to reverse this trend.
  6. “However, applications must be optimized to take advantage of this.” Although it is critical to make an informed decision, there is no room for indecision.
  7. It reduces the likelihood of security breaches and provides additional levels of protection for sensitive data.

This article was first published in the Q2 2015 edition of Infosecurity, which is available to registered users for free in both print and digital versions.

An Overview of Hardware Encryption

In the words of Dan Timpson, CTO of certificate authority DigiCert, “recent security breaches in a variety of industries – including entertainment, retail, and healthcare – indicate that major organizations are not paying enough attention to security best practices.” “On top of that, many of these businesses are lacking in fundamental security procedures.” Approximately 90% of data breaches in 2014 might have been avoided, according to the Online Trust Alliance.

  • If there is a breach in data protection or network security there is the potential for serious consequences to follow from it.
  • Ponemon Institute estimated in a prior analysis that the average value of a lost laptop is $49,246, with just 2% of the total value accounting for the price of hardware replacement.
  • Some approaches to business are dictated by the size of the firm.
  • Several small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) feel that malevolent hackers are mainly interested in larger organizations.
  • The 2014 Internet Security Threat Report published by Symantec revealed that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) accounted for more than half of all targeted assaults (61 percent) in 2013, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year.

In the words of Timpson, “using software-based encryption is easy and may be more accessible for a smaller organization that does not have an on-site IT administrator committed to data security procedures.” “The need to outsource this work brings with it the responsibility to find companies that are trustworthy, as well as vet their products and services to ensure a good fit,” he continues, adding that this is a viable solution only when businesses recognize that they “must find companies that are trustworthy, as well as vet their products and services to ensure a good fit.” The introduction of a third party, according to Timpson, “increases the likelihood of vulnerability.” In spite of the fact that hardware encryption is perceived as more expensive than software encryption due to the upfront investments required to supply an entire organization, Timpson believes that “in the long run, hardware can reduce costs in terms of IT labor, end-user productivity, and licensing fees.” The question then becomes: what is the best approach for data protection?

  1. Where you are attempting to safeguard it will determine how effective your efforts will be.
  2. Everything, from directories to file systems to information, is protected when whole disks or USB devices are encrypted.
  3. The cost of increased security and improved system performance, on the other hand, could be difficult to justify for smaller businesses.
  4. These systems, while potentially less expensive, have a number of downsides, ranging from speed degradation to less-than-perfect protection owing to hackers exploiting operating system and memory weaknesses that reveal encryption keys to a variety of other problems.

“AES instruction sets, which are included in some modern processors and allow software encryption to be more efficient and perform better without relying on dedicated hardware,” explains Andrew Avanessian, executive vice-president of consultancy and technology services at endpoint security software firm Avecto.

According to Avanessian, the underlying issue is that “some businesses might become too concerned with encrypting devices, resulting in deployments being delayed as a result.” As device mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) become more prevalent, it is critical to implement some form of encryption as soon as feasible.” For data secrecy, integrity, or authenticity, encryption is required and is the best solution available.

It reduces the likelihood of security breaches and adds additional levels of protection to keep data safe from theft or unauthorized access.

To read the original version of this piece, subscribe to Infosecurity’s Q2 2015 issue, which is accessible to registered users for free in both print and digital versions.

What is hardware encryption?

Hardware encryption refers to the fact that the encryption takes place within the drive itself. Self-Encrypting Drives (SSDs) are SSDs that have encryption integrated into the hardware and are more typically seen in enterprise environments (SED). SEDs account for the vast majority of Crucial® SSDs.

How does the hardware encryption on Crucial SEDs work?

In the case of a SED, the encryption is always enabled, which means that when data is written to the SED, it is encrypted by the controller and then decrypted when the data is read from the SED. The password security feature must be enabled by the encryption management software before it can be used. Otherwise, nothing prevents a person from reading the data stored on the device unless this step is taken. For the avoidance of doubt, the SED will gladly decrypt any and all information for anybody who requests it, unless security management software has been installed to prevent this from happening.

Until this is “armed” (for example, through the use of a piece of third-party software for the application of login credentials), it is only present but does not actively prevent your data from being compromised.

What are the advantages of hardware encryption?

Using SED technology, you may have verified and certified data security for your user data while also providing practically impenetrable pre-boot access prevention. Because the encryption is built into the drive’s controller, it ensures data security before the disk ever starts up. It is not possible to run a software tool to attempt to decrypt authentication codes since the encryption is active before any software has begun to load. In addition, by conforming to TCG Opal 2.0 specifications and IEEE-1667 access authentication protocols, a drive with an active encryption function can fulfill the compliance requirements of government regulations for data in banking, financial, medical, and government applications.

Due to the fact that the encryption is performed on the SED and nowhere else, the encryption keys are saved in the controller itself and never leave the drive.

Hardware encryption vs software encryption?

The primary advantage of employing hardware encryption on SSDs rather than software encryption is that the hardware encryption function is optimized in conjunction with the rest of the drive’s other features. When a user applies software encryption to a storage drive, this results in numerous more steps being added to the process of writing to the drive because the data must be encrypted by the encryption software as it is being written to the drive. It then becomes necessary for the program to decrypt that same data once more when the user requests access, resulting in a lengthy delay in the reading process.

The hardware encryption of a SED, on the other hand, is built into the controller, thus it has no affect on SSD performance, either in the short term or in the long term.

Because encryption occurs on every write cycle and decryption occurs on every read cycle, the read and write speeds are already taking encryption into account when computing the read and write speeds. Simply said, the encryption process is a routine component of the drive’s functionality.

How to activate hardware encryption?

In order to take benefit of a SED’s encryption capabilities, a user just need a software utility that facilitates the administration of encryption keys for SED devices. SEDs manufactured by Crucial are completely compatible with the Microsoft® eDrive standard, which enables easy plug and play security for data storage through the use of Windows® BitLocker® technology. Because Windows BitLocker does not need to encrypt the drive before it can be used (this has already been accomplished by the SSD’s controller), there is no delay or waiting for encryption to take place before the disk can be utilized.

All you have to do is allow the Self-Encrypting Drive to continue to work in the manner in which it has been designed, and you can enjoy the peace of mind and great performance that comes with using a hardware-based encryption drive.

Different Types of Drive Encryption and Security

The fact that there are so many different choices for protecting and encrypting the data on your SSD might make it tough to decide which is the best solution for you. In general, we may categorize these sorts of security into three categories: software encryption, hardware encryption, and ATA security (access control). Each one offers a different level of protection and might even have an impact on system performance. Listed below is information on the three forms of disk encryption and security you should be aware of.

Software encryption

Encryption software is the simplest and most generally available type of data protection available today. Using software encryption, data is encrypted and decrypted as it is written to and read from your solid-state drive (SSD). When performing all of this encryption work, your CPU must dedicate a portion of its processing power to continually computing any new information. If performance is crucial to you, software encryption should be avoided at all costs. This has a variety of negative effects on your system’s performance.

You may easily delete a software-encrypted disk and then re-partition it if you have forgotten the password to it.

  • Compatibility with practically all types of storage media
  • This feature allows you to selectively encrypt specific folders and partitions. There are several alternatives to pick from
  • Reduces system performance
  • Causes considerable wear on solid-state drives (SSDs). It has the potential to be less secure than other types of security. When encrypting and decrypting data, it takes a lengthy time.

Hardware encryption

Some hard drives include built-in controllers that allow you to enable hardware encryption. These are known as embedded controllers. Hardware encryption, as opposed to software encryption, relies on a controller integrated into the drive to perform all of the heavy lifting. This relieves the CPU of the burden of needing to compute the information, allowing you to get the best potential performance out of your hard disk drive. You’ll need to make sure you have a computer with a built-in controller that supports hardware encryption before you can begin.

  • This controller is sometimes referred to as a SED (security-encryption device) (Self-Encrypting Drive).
  • Because the controllers and encryption standards are so reliable, hardware encryption offers a number of benefits in terms of security.
  • Other advantages include the ability to encrypt or decrypt a disk in a matter of seconds with only a few clicks.
  • A program to handle hardware encryption (such as BitLocker or McAfee® Endpoint) will be required, in a manner similar to how software encryption works.

If you forget the hardware encryption password for your drive, you can use the PSID revert tool included in the Crucial® Storage Executive utility to restore access to the drive. Pros

  • Extremely safe and secure
  • There is no degradation in performance. To activate or disable, it is simple and quick to do so.
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ATA security

The last kind of drive security is achieved by the use of a series of instructions defined by the Serial ATA standards to lock a drive with a password on a computer. The data on the drive itself is not encrypted, unlike with hardware encryption, but the controller that is used to access the information on the drive is protected from being accessed by others. ATA security does not always need the installation of software; nonetheless, the methods for enabling it will differ from system to system.

There are third-party tools for removing ATA security locks from a drive, however it is recommended that you never modify the settings unless you are confident in your abilities.

There are methods for disabling ATA locks, making this a less secure means of data protection overall.


  • It is quite simple to set up
  • No additional software is necessary
  • And there is no degradation in performance.
  • This is not a secure method of protecting your data
  • When a password is lost, there is no straightforward way to open a disk.

Hardware-based encryption – Wikipedia

Hardware-based encryption

TheIBM 4758Cryptographic Module
Process type Cryptography
Industrial sector(s) Computing
Main technologies or sub-processes Cryptographic hash function,Encryption

Hardware-based encryption is the use of computer hardware to help software in the process of data encryption, or to completely replace software in some cases. As part of the processor’s instruction set, this is often implemented as a function. Example: The AESencryption algorithm (a moderncipher) may be implemented using the AES instruction set on the ubiquitousx86 architecture, which is compatible with the AES instruction set. On the ARM architecture, such instructions are also available. It is possible to build cryptography modules that are completely distinct from the central processor, and that are implemented as acoprocessor, in particular as a secure cryptoprocessor or as a cryptographic accelerator, as demonstrated by the IBM 4758 or its successor, the IBM 4764.


Prior to the invention of computer hardware, cryptography could be accomplished by a variety of mechanical or electro-mechanical methods. TheScytale, which was utilized by theSpartans, is an early example. The Enigma machine was an encryption machine with an electro-mechanical mechanism that was most famously utilized by the Germans during World War II. Following World War II, the development of entirely electronic systems began. The ABYSS (A Basic Yorktown Security System) project, which began in 1987, is still ongoing.

However, the application of computers to cryptography in general dates back to the 1940s at Bletchley Park, when theColossus computerwas used to crack the encryption employed by the German High Command during World War II, according to the British National Archives (BNA).

In particular, until the development of the integrated circuit, the first of which was produced in 1960, computers were impractical for encryption because, in comparison to the portable form factor of the Enigma machine, computers of the era took up the equivalent of an entire building in terms of physical space.

As online shopping became more popular, the emergence of the World Wide Web resulted in the requirement for consumers to have access to encryption technology.

Consumers’ primary worries revolved on security and response time. As a result, key algorithms were eventually included into CPUs as a means of enhancing both performance and security.


Complex algorithms are generally implemented in hardware using theX86architecture, which is a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture. Cryptographic algorithms are not exempt from this rule. The x86 architecture is responsible for a substantial portion of the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm, which is utilized by the National Security Agency (NSA) to protect top-secret information. Through the Intel SHA extensions, the architecture also supports support for theSHAHashing Algorithms, which are a kind of cryptography.


Complex algorithms are often implemented in hardware using theX86architecture, which is a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture. Algorithms used in cryptography are no exception. An important component of the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm, which may be employed by the National Security Agency (NSA) for top secret material, is implemented in the x86 architecture. Through the Intel SHA extensions, the architecture also provides support for theSHAHashing Algorithms.

As a coprocessor

  • The IBM 4758 was the forerunner of the IBM 4764. There are two models, IBM 4764 and IBM 4765, that are similar but for the connection that is utilized. Each model has its own specialized CPU, memory, and Random Number Generator. The former makes use of PCI-X, whilst the later makes use of PCI-e. Both are peripheral devices that connect to the motherboard through a USB cable.


The IBM 4758 was the forerunner of the IBM 4764 in terms of features and functionality. There are two models, IBM 4764 and IBM 4765, which are similar save for the connection utilized. Each has its own specialized CPU, memory, and Random Number Generator. Pci-X is used by the first and Pci-E by the second. In both cases, the devices are peripherals that connect to the mainboard.


IBM 4758 – This model was the forerunner of the IBM 4764. There are two models, IBM 4764 and IBM 4765, that are similar but for the connection that is utilized. Each has its own specialized CPU, memory, and Random Number Generator. PCI-X is used by the former, whereas PCI-e is used by the latter. Both are peripheral devices that connect to the motherboard using a USB port.


If, on the other hand, the hardware implementation is flawed, serious problems might develop. Malicious software can obtain data from (presumably) protected hardware – a common technique of doing so is the timing attack, which is a subset of the timing attack. This is significantly more difficult to resolve than a software defect, even if the problem exists within the operating system. Security vulnerabilities are addressed on a regular basis by Microsoft through Windows Update. In a similar vein, frequent security updates are published for the Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, as well as mobile operating systems such as iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

In certain cases, the problem can be resolved by updating the microcode in the processor’s instruction set (a low level type of software).

Other vulnerabilities, such as the Spectre exploit, may only be resolved by upgrading the hardware, or by implementing a solution in the operating system that reduces the performance benefit of the hardware implementation, like in the case of the Spectre attack.

See also

  • Hardware-based whole disk encryption
  • Hardware-based disk encryption
  • Hardware security module
  • Disk encryption hardware
  • Disk encryption software.


Hardware-based whole disk encryption; hardware-based disk encryption; hardware security module; disk encryption hardware; disk encryption software.

Hardware-Based Encryption

  • Dedicated processor that is physically present on the encrypted disk is utilized. The processor is equipped with a random number generator that generates an encryption key, which is unlocked by the user’s password. Because the encryption is being offloaded from the host system, performance is improved. Crypto-hardware should be designed to protect keys and crucial security settings. It is the hardware that is used to authenticate the user. When used in medium and large application contexts, it is cost-effective and easily scalable. Due to the fact that encryption is attached to a single device, encryption is always “on.” Installation of any driver or software on the host computer is not required. Defends against the most prevalent types of assaults, including cold boot attacks, malicious code, and brute force attacks

Software-Based Encryption

  • Encrypt data with other applications on the computer by sharing computer resources. This program is only as secure as your machine. Encryption key that is used to scramble data is obtained from the user’s password. It is possible that software upgrades will be required. Due to the vulnerability of a computer to a brute force assault, the computer attempts to restrict the number of decryption attempts, but hackers can get access to its memory and reset the attempt counter
  • Small application settings are more cost-effective than large ones. It is possible to implement it on any form of media.

Data Encryption on Removable Media Guideline

Compliance with the Minimum Security Standard for Electronic Information (MSS-EI) is required by UC Berkeley security policy for devices that handle covered data. The recommendations offered below are intended to be used as optional guidance in order to meet the Data Encryption on Removable Media requirement.


Anyone storing protected data on portable devices (such as laptops and cellphones) or detachable and readily carried storage media (such as USB drives or CDs/DVDs) must employ encryption solutions that have been approved by the industry.

Description of Risk

Using malicious software, users can acquire illegal physical or logical access to a device, move information from the device to an attacker’s system, and do other activities that put the confidentiality of the information on the device at risk.


When used to store covered data, removable media and mobile devices must be adequately encrypted in accordance with the criteria outlined below. Laptops and smartphones are examples of mobile devices.

  1. Create and test a data recovery plan that is appropriate for your needs (see Additional Resources). Make use of encryption techniques and technologies that are compliant
  • Whenever possible, use the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption algorithm for the encryption algorithm because of its strength and efficiency. For further information, consult the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Guide to Storage Encryption Technologies for End User Devices.
  • When generating a password, make sure to adhere to the strict password restrictions outlined in MSSND Control5. Using the same password across several systems is not recommended. To save sensitive information such as passwords and recovery keys, use a secure password management solution (see Additional Resources).
  • If you need to exchange passwords with other people, be sure that the passwords are sent separately from the encrypted file you’re sending. For example, you may phone the person and ask them to vocally express the password. Don’t write down the password and keep it in the same place as the storage media (for example, a post-it note with the password next to the encrypted USB drive).
  • Following the copying of covered data to removable media (e.g., CDs, external hard drives), the following steps must be taken:
  • Follow the instructions to read the encrypted covered data on the removable media to ensure that it is functional. Following the secure deletion rules, securely delete any unencrypted covered data if it is relevant.
  • It is recommended that removable media be labeled with the following information:
  • Title. For example, “Project XYZ Data”
  • “Data owner” (researcher or research unit name)
  • “Encryption date”
  • And “Project XYZ Data” are all possible.
  1. Whenever the portable media is left unattended, it should be kept in a safe and protected area (e.g. cabinets, lock boxes, etc.) where access is restricted to users with a need-to-know basis. Document the physical location of removable media, as well as the label information (as described above), in order to facilitate tracking and future reference

Compliant Encryption Tools

The numerous tools for encrypting data may be grouped into three major categories: 1) self-encrypting USB drives, 2) media encryption software, and 3) file encryption software. Self-encrypting USB drives are the most common type of data encryption tool. Self Encrypting USB Drives are portable USB drives that include encryption methods inside the hard disk, avoiding the need to install any additional encryption software on the computer. The restriction of such devices is that the contents are only encrypted when they are stored on the encrypted USB drive, which means that files copied from the encrypted USB drive and shared via email or other file sharing methods will not be secured by the encryption.

Completely unprotected storage media such as CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and laptop hard drives can be encrypted with Full Disk Encryption Software (also known as FDE).

Media encryption software, on the other hand, is subject to the same limitations on cooperation as self-encrypting USB drives when it comes to data security.

Resources owners can exchange encrypted data over email or other file-sharing systems while still preserving protection if they use File Encryption Software correctly.

Below is a sample list of tools that comply with removable media encryption requirements:

Tool Category Tool Options Best For
Self-Encrypting USB Drives
  • D250, S200, and S250 from Imation
  • IronKey S200 and D200 from IronKey
  • Kingston DataTraveler 4000 from Kingston.
  • D250, S200, and S250 from Imation
  • IronKey S200 and D200 from IronKey
  • Kingston DataTraveler 4000 from Kingston
  • And others.
  • Apple Mac OS XDisk Utilities / FileVault2
  • Dm-crypt
  • Microsoft Windows Bitlocker
  • Symantec PGP Whole Disk Encryption
  • VeraCrypt
  • Dm
  • Only a small number of users (less than 5) There is only a minimal amount of file exchange or cooperation necessary. a large amount of information
  • User group with fewer than 5 members
  • File sharing and collaboration are only necessary to a minimal extent. Extensive amounts of information
  • Group of users ranging from moderate to big (more than 5)
  • User collaboration is required when working on files from geographically dispersed places. a data set of moderate to large size

Generally, the tools in this list are compatible with current operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Please refer to the vendor’s websites for information on particular system requirements.

Non-Compliant Encryption Tools

All of the tools in this list are designed to work with current operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, among others. System requirements for certain vendors should be obtained from their websites.

  • Microsoft Office before to 2010, Adobe Acrobat previous to version 10.0 (also known as version X), Winzip prior to version 9
  • And other programs.

In addition to following the supplied suggestions, wherever feasible, make use of the tools listed in theCompliant Toolssection of this document. If you are unsure about a particular encryption technology, please contact [email protected] for advice and guidance.

Additional Resources

You should take the following steps if removable media is the only copy of covered data you have. This will ensure that covered data is safely backed up to other devices.

  • Data is backed up to additional removable devices that meet the specifications outlined in this document, or data is backed up to UCBackup with encryption.

Password Management Tool

It is possible to secure all of your other passwords and credentials in one place by using a single complicated master password, which can be used to protect all of your other passwords and credentials in one place. Users will also have less trouble remembering all of the different username and password combinations that are used for various applications and web services. Even if a password management tool is useful, the breadth of access granted by the tool necessitates the use of more stringent security measures to secure the password management database.

  • The use of a single complicated master password to safeguard all of your other passwords and credentials in a centralized area is made possible by a password management tool, which is a software solution. Users will also have less difficulty remembering all of the username and password combinations that are used for various applications and web services as a result of this enhancement. When it comes to a password management tool’s flexibility and convenience, the increased level of security required to secure the password management database cannot be overstated. As an example, here are some suggestions for preventing your password management database from slipping into the wrong hands:
  • Apps that require a time-based OTP, such as Google Authenticator, Authy, or Duo
  • A physical U2F security key, such as a YubiKey, is required.

LastPass(link is external), which is a password management program that is accessible for free on the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems, is an example of such a tool.

Advantages of Using Encryption Technology for Data Protection

LastPass(link is external), which is a password management application that is accessible for free on the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems, is an example of this type of software.

Encryption protects your privacy

LastPass(link is external), which is a password management program that is accessible for free on the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems, is an example.

  • LastPass(link is external), for example, is a password management program that is accessible for free on the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems.

Encryption prevents Identity Theft and Ransomware Blackmail

The most recent trend in ransomware is to steal all of your data, which is then used to blackmail you into paying a ransom in exchange for access to your data. Otherwise, your information will be released to the internet, used for identity theft, or sold to the highest bidder if you do not pay. It’s rather frightening! The good news is that if your files are encrypted, thieves will not be able to access your data; instead, they will only be able to see jumbled data that is meaningless and cannot be kept hostage.

Encryption allows you to securly share your files

The practice of transferring data via the internet has become more common than ever. You may do it on social networking sites such as Facebook, chat applications, forums, and cloud-based storage systems. But what really is the danger? Right, only the folks to whom I’ve emailed the file will be able to see it. Wrong! If your shared files are not encrypted, they are visible to anybody who has access to your computer. Imagine the agony of discovering your private photographs or bank account number strewn around the internet.

To summarize, encrypting your files before sharing them guarantees that your personal information is protected and protected from prying eyes. No one other than you and the intended receiver will be able to open the files since they are protected from being opened by others.

Encryption protects Lost/Stolen Devices

Employees are increasingly reliant on mobile devices for work-related activities. Over the past several years, this tendency has been more prevalent, and the COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in an expansion of telework, as well as the usage of personal and mobile devices. The greater convenience provided by these mobile devices is accompanied with an increase in cybersecurity risk. In a public area, it is quite easy to misplace or have stolen a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. If this occurs, the burglar may be able to view important corporate data from the laptop’s hard disk if the device is not properly secured.

Each file on the system is encrypted, and the encryption keys are kept in a secure location that is only accessible with the user’s login information.

What to Look For in a File Encryption Solution

File encryption is a very useful technology in the field of data security. Incorrect implementation, on the other hand, may cause you to believe you are in complete control. Some of the most important characteristics to look for in a file encryption solution are as follows:

  • The Encryption Algorithm is a mathematical formula that is used to encrypt data. The terms ‘Military-graded,’ and other marketing phrases that look great on paper are often used to promote encryption solutions. But let’s be honest here: who knows what encryption algorithms the military is using or how they came to be developed? Beyond those marketing terms and assurances, you’ll want AES encryption that is industry standard and unaltered, and preferably that has been independently audited. The Passwords to your Documents When using a single key to encrypt all of your files and data, some encryption systems compel you to choose between encrypting everything or nothing at all, putting all of your data at danger if your key falls into the wrong hands. It is recommended that a competent file encryption solution encrypt each folder or file with a unique key in order to reduce the chance of all your data being compromised in the event of a key hacking or theft. Furthermore, if you feel that a key has been compromised, your encryption solution should make it simple to update the keys for all of your files. Encryption that is always active When working with your files, make sure that they are always encrypted, and when editing, make sure that any changes are automatically stored and encrypted. Sharing information in a safe environment Your encryption solution should make it simple for you to provide encrypted copies of your data to anybody who requests them. Shared files should only be accessible by you and the people who have received them.

More information about file encryption may be found here.

A Small Business Guide to Computer Encryption – businessnewsdaily.com

Despite the fact that encryption is a tough subject to understand, it is a critical aspect of safeguarding your company’s sensitive data. When it comes down to its most fundamental definition, encryption is the process of scrambling text (known as ciphertext) in order to make it unintelligible to unauthorised users. Individual files, folders, volumes, even whole disks on a computer, as well as USB flash drives and information saved in the cloud, can be encrypted.

Why is encryption important?

Encryption of files and disks is used to safeguard information stored on a computer or network storage device. Individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII), such as their names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and financial information, must be protected by any organization, whether large or small. Small and midsize companies (SMBs) are particularly vulnerable. If a computer holding personally identifiable information (PII) is stolen and the information is released or disseminated, an organization may be liable.

If your laptop is lost or stolen and the files or disk are not encrypted, a thief may simply take the information from it.

Disk encryption may not provide complete protection for a machine.

Because of the nature of these assaults, extra security measures such as anti-malware software, firewalls, and employee awareness training are required. Encrypting a computer’s files or the entire drive, on the other hand, significantly minimizes the danger of data theft.

Encryption 101: How does it work?

In order to safeguard data saved on a computer or network storage system, file and disk encryption must be implemented. Individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII), such as their names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and financial information, must be protected by any organization, whether it is a small or midsize corporation (SMB). If a computer holding personally identifiable information (PII) is stolen and the information is released or disseminated, an entity may be held liable in civil court.

When accessing files, the burglar does not even need to know the sign-on password because it is simple to start a computer from an external USB flash drive and then access the disks contained within that machine.

A hacker can still get access to the computer through an unsecured network connection, or a user can click on a bad link in an email and infect the machine with malware that collects usernames and passwords from the user’s accounts.

Encrypting a computer’s files or the entire disk, on the other hand, significantly minimizes the likelihood of information theft.

Types of computer encryption

Individual file and folder encryption does exactly what it says on the tin: it encrypts only the precise things that you choose. Using this approach is appropriate when just a small number of business papers are saved on a computer, and it is certainly preferable than using no encryption at all. Volume encryption is a step up from this, since it produces a container of sorts that is completely encrypted. All of the files and folders that are produced in or saved to that container are protected using encryption.

It is completely invisible to users and does not need them to store data to a specific location on the disk — all files, folders, and volumes are encrypted regardless of where they are saved.

This operation unlocks the files, allowing you to utilize them as you would normally.

Built-in encryption programs

A strong encryption mechanism is integrated into the latest versions of the Windows and OS X operating systems, and it is also available for some Linux editions. In Windows 7 (Enterprise and Ultimate), as well as the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, Microsoft BitLocker is a disk encryption technology that protects data on the hard drive. It is intended to be used in conjunction with a Trusted Platform Module chip in your computer, which contains your disk encryption key, to provide maximum security.

  1. Using Windows Explorer or File Explorer, right-click on Drive C and select Enable BitLocker from the context menu.
  2. When you enable BitLocker, Microsoft invites you to make a duplicate of your recovery key for safe-keeping on your computer.
  3. You or anybody else will be unable to access the information unless you have the key.
  4. BitLocker also allows you to demand a PIN at the time of installation.
  5. The disk encryption recovery key is automatically stored in your iCloud account when you enable encryption, but you can opt to write it down instead.

When installing Linux, you normally encrypt the disk during the installation process, using an utility such as asdm-crypt. However, third-party solutions are also available for encrypting data once it has been installed.

Third-party encryption programs

TrueCrypt was formerly one of the most widely used open-source disk encryption software tools, but its authors decided to discontinue support for it in 2014, citing financial reasons. Security experts are divided on whether it is safe to use at this time. To be on the safe side, stay with a product that has been well tested and updated on a regular basis. Open-source goods that are well-regarded include the following examples:

  • VeraCrypt is a free piece of software that may be used on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems. When it comes to user and third-party testing feedback, it consistently receives the top marks. AxCrypt is a simple-to-use encryption application that is available in both free and premium editions. It has a password manager as well as a collaboration function that allows you to share encrypted files with others. When it comes to encrypting and digitally signing files and emails, Gpg4win employs military-grade security.

The majority of anti-malware manufacturers, including Symantec, Kaspersky, Sophos, and ESET, offer encryption as part of their security suites or sell it as a separate product. When you copy files from an encrypted disk to a USB drive, the files can be instantly decrypted, which is why USB devices should also be encrypted. According to Joe Siegrist, vice president and general manager of LogMeIn’s LastPasspassword management software, “it’s critical to educate staff on the fact that if they transmit a file through email or transfer it to a USB flash drive, the data is no longer secured by the encryption.” Use software such as Microsoft BitLocker To Go or open-source software to ensure that files on a USB device are encrypted, or purchase USB drives that have encryption, such as those from IronKey, SanDisk, and Kanguru, to do this.

Best practices for computer encryption

Back up your data files and generate an image backup of your hard drive before enabling encryption on your computer. An image backup is a duplicate of the whole contents of your hard drive. You should also make certain that you have the operating system’s installation media on hand and that you have created an emergency boot disk on portable media. Continue to back up your computer on a regular basis going future. A crashed or corrupted encrypted disk might result in the loss of all data stored on the disk for all time.

When constructing a passcode or PIN, use a mixture of random numbers and letters, and make a note of the combination.

Consider combining two phrases, such as brief lines from two songs you enjoy, to create a new phrase.

Make use of a variety of capitalizations as well.

Remember to always save a written duplicate of your PIN or passcode, as well as your encryption key (if applicable) in a secure location in case you lose track of them.

If you use Wi-Fi, make sure to utilize Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), which is a type of encryption that is specifically designed to safeguard wireless connections.

Finally, set up a virtual private network (VPN) so that you may connect to the business network from a laptop or other mobile device when you’re working from home or on the road.

More information about virtual private networks may be found in our guide to the best VPN services for your company.

Having this security measure in place is essential for firms that deal with sensitive information, and it should be enabled on any device that potentially end up in the wrong hands.

More information and guidance may be found in our small company cybersecurity handbook. Kim Lindros contributed additional reporting.

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