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Hard Disk Encryption

Different applications have been used to secure data, most of them have been cracked after some time. Hard drives and USB drives can holds very sensitive and confidential data, loosing them or a laptop can put us at risk, this is why in addition to the ‘traditional’ password security we might al Hard drives and USB flash drives are treasure troves of personal data

Security has always been a major concern far before the appearance of computers, it had different applications and implementation but the aims are the same. Securing data and ensuring its availability for the only eligible parties is one of the biggest questions and field in which security specialists and mathematicians are working everyday to enhance. Different applications have been used to secure data, most of them have been cracked after some time.

As stated by Ciampa and Revels, Software encryption can be subject to attacks and get its vulnerabilities exploited (Ciampa & Revels, 2012). The alternative of this approach can be the hardware embedded security which can provide higher degree.

Hard drives and USB drives can holds very sensitive and confidential data, loosing them or a laptop can put us at risk, this is why in addition to the ‘traditional’ password security we might al

Hard drives and USB flash drives are treasure troves of personal data. They’re also among the most common sources of data leaks. If you lose a flash drive, external hard drive, or laptop containing sensitive personal information, you will be at risk.

Cipher Block Chaining (CBC), this mode of encryption binds the different blocks together and puts in place a certain dependency between them. The CBC algorithm takes a sector and applies a binary XOR operation with the next one. The binary XOR operation is very strict, if a hardware failure happens or for any reason parts of the disk get corrupt, the next sectors will not be readable due to the dependency. This method is very sensitive and secure in the same time (Greenfield ,1994).

Electronic Code Book (ECB), in this encryption mode, there is less dependency between sectors, however the same block of data is divided into sub-blocks, each will be encrypted separately. It has heavier performance effects, however it reduces the sensitivity and increases the fault tolerance.

Whatever approach we decide to use, the hard drive encryption does not provide this level of security without a price. It must have some downsides as all technics, for the hard drive encryption it is the added load and performance issue on the operations of inputs and outputs. This is the result of the encryption and decryption algorithm that runs at each data read or write, it might take longer than normal access. But depending on the application domain, we can afford this over processing time. I personally will chose to accept it for some very confidential and critical data, it is better to wait for couple of seconds or milliseconds and be sure that data is properly held (Dworkin, 2001).

References

–       ‪Mark D. Ciampa & ‪Mark Revels (2012). Introduction to Healthcare Information Technology, 1st ed. ISBN: Cengage Learning, 2012. ISBN: 1133787770.

–       Morris Dworkin (2001). Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes of Operation, methods and techniques. NIST Special Publication 800-38A 2001 Edition. Available at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-38a/sp800-38a.pdf

–       Jonathan S. Greenfield (1994). Distributed Programming Paradigms with Cryptography Applications. ‪Volume 870 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, 1994, ‪ISSN ‪0302-9743

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