apacer rsfd Apacer is turning to RFID for SSD security, gets it slightly wrong

When it comes to data security, there are many ways of skinning a cat as they say and Apacer has come up with an interesting solution that the company was showing off at Secutech 2012. Rather than using "old fashioned" smartcards, Apacer has gone for trendy RFID technology and integrated it into an SSD.

When it comes to data security, there are many ways of skinning a cat as they say and Apacer has come up with an interesting solution that the company was showing off at Secutech 2012. Rather than using "old fashioned" smartcards, Apacer has gone for trendy RFID technology and integrated it into an SSD.

The demo unit at the show was very simple to use, a small RFID tag just had to be placed near the drive for the protected partition to unlock. Of course in a notebook or desktop implementation the RFID sensor would have to be placed somewhere at the top of front of the machine to give the user easy access to the RFID transmitter. The data on the RFID protected partition is encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption, so it should be fairly safe.

apacer rsfd Apacer is turning to RFID for SSD security, gets it slightly wrong

We're not entirely sold on the entire concept though and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that you could lose the RFID tag. Instead it comes down to how Apacer has implemented the whole concept. The always visible part of the SSD is a meagre 32GB and it's connected via a standard SATA interface. The secure partition on the other hand, which can be up to 128GB in size, connects via USB, hence the USB cable next to the SATA data and power connectors in the picture above.

apacer rsfd 2 Apacer is turning to RFID for SSD security, gets it slightly wrong

The problem here is that the secure partition will be really slow, as in the current implementation only USB 2.0 is supported. If Apacer could do an implementation that either works with USB 3.0, or via a second SATA interface, this would be a very interesting option for anyone that requires a secure data partition, as then the performance wouldn't be as appalling compared to using a USB 2.0 interface. Interesting technology but sadly not as well implemented and integrated as it really ought to be.