Hardware Hardware Security vs. Software Encryption

Hardware Security vs. Software Encryption

Computer hardware security

The mainstream topic nowadays is security, especially with so much negative media coverage surrounding it. Moreover, all the costly fallout that follows such incidents has quickly made this a problem for big companies. Protecting yourself against data breaches has become a priority, so it’s time organizations upgraded to hardware security instead of software one.

Recent Ashley Madison and TalkTalk breaches have brought the problem of cyber crime to light. But it’s not just cyber attacks, which, more often than not, are a result of human error. What’s missing from this global discussion is how can we protect ourselves from such incidents? What methods can we use?

Software encryption problems

ESET Nod32 antivirus

Traditionally, software encryption has been the favored solution for security, largely because the IT department can update it remotely. As a result, it’s seen as more affordable than hardware. However, that’s not always true – you still have to pay for a number of annual licensing fees.

Software encryption is complex and can often slow down the device, leading to users disabling the defenses. Another problem for the IT department is the absence of strong passwords. Users have a tendency to choose easy-to-remember combinations, share them with others, write them down in places easily found, or use the same password on all of their accounts. Combined with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, hackers may find it easy to infiltrate corporate data.

Even though security is one of the top priorities for companies, their IT departments usually can barely keep up with the situation.

Hardware security benefits

PC hardware security benefits

With hardware-based security, the authentication is complete even before the device boots up the operating system, making it very hard for cyber hackers to break in.

In the past, computer hardware security was designed as closed systems, with no code or know-how shared, which made it hard to audit. Today, ARM TrustZone is bringing this technology to a whole new level by providing an open-source platform where companies can develop a broad security ecosystem through a programmable operating environment.

Essentially, TrustZone creates an independent zone on a chip where companies can create rules that will handle relevant security requests in special areas of trusted code. It diminishes the chances of possible attacks, while the programmable aspect allows companies to address their individual security threats.

It’s about more than hacking

Global internet security
Image credit: Fedorov Oleksiy / Shutterstock

There are many reports on cyber security and hacking, however, human error is still the main cause of data breaches. To address this, there are hardware-based security solutions that remove control from the user, keeping it in the hands of the IT department. They can determine whether a user can view the data, add or delete files, and print documents from the device.

Laptops and flash drives can have geo-location positioning installed to help locate the device if it gets lost. This also enables the IT department to remotely delete data in case of theft.

No matter which security type is chosen, it needs to address several requirements. Compliance laws such as PCI, HIPAA, and the newest EU regulations on data protection must be met. How these defenses interact with users should also be taken into account because people are bound to make mistakes. Read on to find out more about potential threats to business and why portable gadgets are bad for company’s security and don’t forget to share your opinion with us in the comments’ section below!

[Featured image credit: Robert Lucian Crusitu / Shutterstock, image cropped]


  1. making mistake is human nature.but it has become a great chance for others who want to spy and steal people’s financial and personal data.