Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs) Found to Save 75% Over Software Encryption Solutions, Says Ponemon Institute

Date Published: January, 01, 2015

TCG members WinMagic with LSI Corporation, Micron, PLEXTOR, Seagate, Samsung and Toshiba recently commissioned a study to determine what, if any, cost savings resulted from using self-encrypting drives, or SEDs, for data protection instead of software encryption.

The results were, frankly, astonishing. The Ponemon Institute research found that SEDs indeed represented a cost savings when used in lieu of more traditional software encryption – not just a little bit. Not some. But 75 percent.

As reported last week by WinMagic, the study noted:

  • SEDs offer a significant savings as it relates to lost end-user productivity by reducing total idle time during encryption and excess time spent on traditional operation of the computer.
  • With SEDs there is no user or IT idle time during the encryption process as it happens instantly.
  • In the U.S. the per-user/per-year savings value of SEDs compared to software-based encryption is $300.
  • On average, when compared to software-based encryption, hardware based encryption with SEDs can offer a 75 percent total cost savings.
  • The TCO for all form of drive encryption is an astounding $300 to $600 per year while the average licensing cost for FDE solutions is less than $20 per year.
  • Regardless of the encryption method used, the benefits of encrypting data outweigh the total cost of ownership by a factor of 4 to 20x, depending on the country sample.

SEDs are offered now by all major drive makers for clients.  Enterprise storage solutions are offered by a number of vendors.  Storage industry analyst Tom Coughlin has noted recently in Forbes magazine online that “…self-encrypting drive technology is an important tool in providing customer privacy and preventing unauthorized access to data.  Whether in client or enterprise applications this technology provides solid benefits and helps companies meet compliance and privacy protection requirements.  Self-encrypting storage technology avoids the additional overhead of software encryption approaches, providing real-time data protect without the wait.”

Coughlin, who has followed SEDs since their inception, also says, “…Hard disk drive and solid state drives utilizing the self-encrypting technology standardized by the Trusted Computing Group should become a common-place element in both client and storage array storage systems as suppliers and designers embrace these approaches to preserve the secrets of enterprise storage.”

Read more in the release from WinMagic and corresponding paper and watch this blog for more details and updates on SEDs.


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