March 24, 2012 -- In 2010, the television network CBS aired a program demonstrating how discarded office copiers are gold mines for private information, trivially harvested from disk drives within the machines. When asked whether this could be prevented, one copier company said that customers could purchase a $500 option that will erase copied images from the hard drive after use. Give the guy who wrote those couple lines of code a bonus!
Another obvious solution to this problem is data-at-rest protection. Data-at-rest protection is a when data stored on a device and not in transit, known as data at rest, is either encrypted or follows certain protocols that include encryption to protect the data from unauthorized access. The storage media for an embedded system may include hard disk drives, flash memory, and attached USB thumb drives.
As witnessed by the photo copier story, seemingly benign, mundane office equipment is often vulnerable and not protected. On the other hand, many modern embedded systems do have encrypted storage-protection requirements, driven by intellectual property protection, digital rights management, sensitive customer information, and more. Compliance regulations in certain industries require that sensitive stored data be protected with appropriate data-protection protocols that include encryption.
This article discusses approaches for protecting data at rest.
By Dave Kleidermacher. (Kleidermacher is CTO of Green Hills Software, Inc.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
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Green Hills Software, Inc.