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securing storage data at rest

Storage solutions


The security of stored data (sometimes referred to as "data at rest") is becoming more and more important as large volumes of extremely valuable information are routinely stored by commercial organisations. This data may be proprietary, or may contain valuable information about private individuals; either way it is vital that this data be carefully protected.

Securing data on disk and tape has its own special requirements, and for this reason the IEEE Computer Society set up the Security in Storage Working Group (SISWG) in 2002, together with project 1619, to standardise the way in which this data is secured. The aim is a standard architecture for securing data from the time it is written to the time an authorised reader accesses it, regardless of how the data is transmitted or stored.

The group has recommended a suite of encryption and authentication algorithms for use with disk and tape. The latest "narrow-block" disk security scheme (1619) uses AES-XTS (previously called AES-XEX) as its basis; this provides encryption (but no authentication). A "wide-block" scheme (1619.2) has also been developed by the SISWG.

The fundamental requirement for disk encryption is that the amount of data which needs to be stored after it has been encrypted does not exceed the original data length. For tape security (1619.1), the requirement is slightly different, and there is a choice between AES-CCM and AES-GCM, both of which offer combined encryption and authentication, since tape is able to accommodate the additional storage of authentication tags with the encrypted data.

Helion Storage Solutions

Helion offer full support for all the algorithms specified by the 1619 committee. These high performance cores are available in versions for use in ASIC, Altera and Xilinx FPGA, and in common with all Helion IP cores they have been designed with each technology firmly in mind to yield the very best and most efficient results.

To find out more about these solutions, please follow the links to the appropriate cores listed in the table below.

Storage technology Security Solutions
AES-XTS High performance AES-XTS cores for ASIC and FPGA
AES-CCM High performance AES-CCM cores for ASIC and FPGA
AES-GCM High performance AES-GCM cores for ASIC and FPGA
AES-EME2 Under development


For more detailed information on this or any of our other products and services, please feel free to email us at helioncores@heliontech.com and we will be pleased to discuss how we can assist with your individual requirements.

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