Toshiba is working on a new type of "smart" hard drive that can be programmed to either wipe data or secure it in the event of being plugged in to an unknown machine. The drives work with AES 256 encryption and when users move files on to the drive, they can specify if the files are to be kept secure, or if the drive is to be wiped if unauthorised access is detected.
The system works to the Opal specification that lists the standards that corporations work to and this is mostly where the new range of drives will be aimed at... corporations. If a drive happens to be stolen, then companies have more assurance that data will be either deleted or encrypted so that those trying to access the data cannot see it and in turn, it could prevent a data leak.
In total, five new drives are launching within a new range called the MKxx61GSYS family. The drives are almost identical other than the capacity which ranges from 160GB to 640GB. Each drive spins at 7200 RPM and connects to a PC via a regular SATA interface.
So that companies are able to work with these new drives, Toshiba is working with hardware and software providers to make the installation of these drives go more seamlessly.
Pricing and release dates have yet to be revealed, but expect to see them sometime later this year. In the second quarter of this year, Toshiba will be releasing the drives to a number of select customers though. It isn't fully clear if the drives will make it to the general market.