A lot of the narrative around protecting user data often happens in the context of the cloud or the Internet, where data is often vulnerable to snooping and hijacking. Data stored on local storage, however, are just as or even more vulnerable, especially when talking about portable external storage. Encryption is, of course, an option, but one that comes as the cost of speed and flexibility. Western Digital is now boasting that its new ArmorLock encrypted NVMe SSD can let you have your security cake and eat it, too.
There is no escaping the fact that encryption will always incur some penalty, like the hardware required to encrypt and decrypt the data as well as the hardware to keep secure keys secure. There’s also the human penalty when you consider using the same storage device in a collaborative setting, like having to pass decryption keys around.
Western Digital developed its new ArmorLock Securty Platform to address the latter cost, mostly by using the same tight security features we’re already using on our phones. In a nutshell, this means letting an encrypted drive be unlock using a fingerprint, a face, or your phone’s own passcode. And, of course, you’ll be using your phone to do just that.
That’s the convenience that the new WV ArmorLock encrypted NVMe SSD is trying to sell. In addition to the simple action of unlocking the drive using your own phone’s biometrics security features, managers can also make it easy to assign access to members of a group from the same ArmorLock app. No more taping PIN codes to drives that can be lost or stolen. Western Digital’s platform also lets you track the drive’s last known location or even remotely erase and reformat it, just like a phone.
The WD ArmorLock portable SSD boasts of a 1000 MB/s read/write speed, courtesy of a 10Gbps SuperSpeed USB port. available in a 2TB capacity, the drive is now ready for purchase in the US for $599. The ArmorLock is free, of course, but is compatible only with iOS and macOS.