For the time being, this is not something that the typical home consumer needs to worry about—Aunt Mabel's passed-down cookie recipe might be a hit at school bake sales, but data thieves have bigger targets. Those targets exist within finance, government, healthcare, IT enterprise, legal, and media and entertainment industries, and that's where ArmorLock comes into play.
"Facing the threat of hijacked media files and leaked films, studios, agencies, and especially investors are demanding a better way to protect critical content. While much of the industry's focus has been on cloud security, data often remains vulnerable on the portable storage devices holding critical commercial content," Western Digital explains.
Some of the key features of ArmorLock include...
- Manufacturing technologies that provision each device with a root of trust and digital certificate of product authenticity
- Simple and robust firmware updates delivered straight from the ArmorLock app
- Open source, third party audited core cryptography with side-channel attack mitigation
- Sandboxed smartphone and desktop applications delivered through platform-native app stores—no special installer required
- Communications over wireless and wired connections with zero-touch certificate-based provisioning
- Password-less authentication and key exchange technologies that directly link storage encryption to hardware-backed biometric authentication
- Zero-knowledge public key management that helps protect your privacy even if the ArmorLock device is lost or stolen
The first ArmorLock product is an external NVMe SSD that is rated to deliver read and write speeds of up to 1,000MB/s, when plugged into a SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps port. On the security side of the equation, Western Digital is touting a "zero-knowledge" solution. Rather than having to input a password, it works in conjunction with a smartphone app.
"With the ArmorLock app, users can unlock the device wirelessly with their phone, using face recognition, a fingerprint, or the phone's passcode ensuring lost passwords don't cause missed deadlines. The SSD provides encryption without getting in the way of the workflow by enabling collaboration without the need to tape PINs to the drive," Western Digital says.
The drive is housed in an "ultra-rugged" enclosure that is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, along with drops of up to 3 meters and 1,000-pound crush resistance.