2 min read

Seagate wins U.S. government certification on its self-encrypting laptop hard drive

FIPS standard is recognized by all U.S. and Canadian federal agencies and many state and local governments

Hard disc drive manufacturer Seagate has won the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 Level 2 standard on its Momentus self-encrypting hard drives for laptops. With this government certification, the company is hoping to delve deeper into the government, healthcare, financial and education verticals.

The certification of Seagate’s Momentus self-encrypting drives (SEDs) is recognized by all U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, as well as many state and local governments who are required to use FIPS-certified equipment to protect sensitive data on PCs and computer networks.

Joni Clark, a senior product marketing manager at Seagate, said in winning the certification for its 2.5-inch Momentus SEDs, vertical industries can now look to the FIPS 140-2 standard as a seal of approval and as a way to further validate their purchases.

“FIPS is a seal of approval and an endorsement for our products,” Clark said. “Specific industries can now be more confident in their purchases.”

Seagate’s Momentus SEDs are designed for companies of all sizes and are designed for use in laptops. Using a built-in Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) chip in the drive, the Momentus SED can automatically encrypt all of the data that’s on the drive. The drive also has the ability to delete the stored data in an instant, should the drive ever need to be redeployed.

Since data encryption is done automatically with the drive on the laptop, if the PC were ever lost or stolen, although the hardware may not be safe, the data on it would be, Clark said.

In addition to being FIPS-validated, Seagate’s Momentus SEDs are also classified as being a Level 2, which means there’s extra protection on the drive.

“With Level 2, there’s evidence if someone has tampered with the drive,” she said. “So if someone tries to break the seal (on the drive), when the label peels off, it shreds to alert the user.”

The FIPS-certified Momentus SEDs are now available thru distributors, laptop manufacturers and online on Seagate’s Web site and come in 250GB and 500GB capacities. While users will be able to purchase a FIPS certified drive, they could also have the option to purchase a non-certified one if they wanted to. Clark said for the FIPS certified drives, there will be a premium on top, which will vary depending on whatever the partner delivering the product decides.

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.