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The Trusted Computing Group has finalized a draft specification for implementing encryption and security services directly onto future storage devices.

The specification was developed by more than 60 of TCG's 175 member companies and supports security services for a number of storage platforms including hard drives, flash, tape and optical devices.

Devices based on the new specification can interact with a trusted element in a host system authorized by the platform owner. To access the data, the device must be able to interact with the server or PC where the storage controller chip is housed. Storage vendors hope the new guideline will help businesses prevent confidential information from being compromised or lost — and even better, prevent journalists from reporting on it.

"The public media blares the loss of confidential information on large numbers of individuals on what seems a daily basis," David Hill of the Mesabi Group said in a release. "And that is only the tip of the data breach iceberg for not having trusted storage. Trusted storage will soon be seen as a necessity — not just a nice [thing] to have — by all organizations."

Under the new guidelines, drive encryption and decryption is performed through hardware on the drive. Devices that currently use software encryption will still be able to interact with trusted storage drives.

Security functions in the specification include public key cryptography, digital signatures, hashing functions, random number generation and secure storage.

TCG said a final specification will be published "in the near future," but storage and application vendors can begin to design products that use the security functions now.

You can take a look at the meat of the core specifications here

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