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What is the difference between hardware encryption and software encryption?

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What is the difference between hardware encryption and software encryption?
posted Apr 7, 2016 by anonymous

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1 Answer

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Hardware- vs Software-Based Encryption

Hardware-Based Encryption

Uses a dedicated processor physically located on the encrypted drive

Processor contains a random number generator to generate an encryption key, which the user’s password will unlock

Increased performance by off-loading encryption from the host system

Safeguard keys and critical security parameters within crypto-hardware

Authentication takes place on the hardware

Cost-effective in medium and larger application environments, easily scalable

Encryption is tied to a specific device, so encryption is “always on”

Does not require any type of driver installation or software installation on the host PC

Protects against the most common attacks, such as cold boot attacks, malicious code and brute force attacks

Software-Based Encryption

Shares computers resources to encrypt data with other programs on the computer – Only as safe as your computer

Uses the user’s password as the encryption key that scrambles data

Can require software updates

Susceptible to brute force attacks, computer tries to limit the number of decryption attempts but hackers can access the computer’s memory and reset the attempt counter

Cost-effective in small application environments

Can be implemented on all types of media

answer Apr 11, 2016 by Manikandan J
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