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Protect Your Valuable Company Data by Securing Your Storage System

How safe is your data from unauthorized access? Cyber-attacks are hitting companies at an alarming rate as hackers use increasingly sophisticated tools and techniques to bypass network defenses and steal sensitive company information.

With cybercrime on the rise, it’s more important than ever for data center managers to implement technologies that secure their systems while still meeting continually-increasing performance demands.

The Cost of Inadequate Cybersecurity

Multiple studies show the importance of safeguarding your data to protect your company from lost business, damage to your brand and disintegration of customer loyalty:

  • 68 percent of business leaders believe their cybersecurity risks are increasing (source: Accenture)

  • 36 billion records were exposed by data breaches in the first half of 2020 (source: RiskBased)

  • The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million per incident, and lost business accounts for 40 percent ($1.52 million) of that figure (source: IBM)

  • 70 percent of consumers say they would stop doing business with a company if it experienced a data breach (source: Gemalto)

In short, security can’t be overlooked — especially if you value your reputation as a service provider, data host or business partner.  

Multiple overlapping strategies are necessary to secure data center infrastructure, some of which include supply chain security, trusted platform support, data-in-flight security and a lifecycle data management. One key element of this comprehensive strategy is data-at-rest security.

Types of Data-at-Rest Security

There are several methods for preventing unauthorized access to data residing on HDD and SSD drives, but encryption is the most effective. Encryption encodes data in a way that requires a unique key in order to be read. Data encryption can be software or hardware based.

  • Software-based encryption is managed at the operating system level using application software to encrypt and decrypt data as it is written and read from the drives. Software encryption works with the major operating systems and all brands of HDDs and SSDs. This software approach is compute intensive and therefore can cause added I/O latency and therefore degrade I/O performance. With less compute capacity available, other applications running on the main CPU will operate with degraded performance.

  • Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) have hardware support on the drive to encrypt/decrypt data. The process has little to no impact on latency or I/O performance and is transparent to the host operating system and host CPU. However, your existing fleet of HDDs and SSDs must be replaced with SEDs in order to secure your storage infrastructure, resulting in additional complexity and expenses.

  • Encryption-enabled storage adapters manage encryption/decryption through hardware on the adapter. This technology secures data on the storage subsystem, including the adapter cache, attached cables and expanders – all the way to the drive. It is transparent to the host operating system and host CPU and creates minimal impact on latency or I/O performance.

Encryption-enabled storage adapters are compatible with standard SSDs and HDDs, and one adapter can encrypt multiple drives, which reduces deployment complexity and costs.

When deciding on which encryption to deploy in your data center, it is vital to partner with a trusted provider of leading-edge security technology.

Microchip: A Storage Leader

For over three decades, we have built storage products that meet our customers’ needs, evolving from our origins on the desktop into one of the world’s most trusted data center partners. We work closely with the data center industry and ecosystem vendors to deliver best-in-class technology and tools that maximize interoperability and integration with your other storage components and optimal performance, availability and security for your data center. Our SmartROC/IOC silicon-based HBA and RAID adapters are in more than 30 million servers worldwide.

Available on our SmartRAID 3162-8i /e RAID adapter, the Adaptec® maxCrypto adapter is the industry’s only controller-based encryption solution. It offers superior levels of cryptography by employing 256-bit AES in-line encryption. As soon as the unique key associated with a specific controller is removed, the encrypted data stored on the drives is unreadable and secure.

One maxCrypto-enabled SmartRAID 3162-8i /e RAID adapter delivers data protection for up to 238 SAS or SATA devices (using SAS expanders) with little to no impact on latency and I/O performance. maxCrypto is compatible with all brands of SAS and SATA HDDs and SSDs where a RAID volume is supported and integrates seamlessly into existing storage infrastructures.


With hackers more determined than ever to steal company data, the need for cutting-edge data-at-rest protection solutions is at an all-time high. Several options exist, but software-based encryption can diminish application performance while SEDs force you to replace your existing HDDs and SSDs with expensive alternatives.

The Adaptec maxCrypto adapter is the industry’s only controller-based encryption solution, offering superior performance to software-based encryption and more flexibility and security than SEDs. Available on our SmartRAID 3162-8i /e RAID adapter, maxCrypto can protect data on up to 238 SAS or SATA devices. It is compatible with all brands of SAS and SATA HDDs and SSDs and integrates seamlessly into your existing storage infrastructure.

To learn more about Microchip’s Adaptec maxCrypto adapter, click here.

Marc Anthony, Feb 24, 2021