Data Encryption

Secure your data with AES-256 encryption

Data Security Technologies2019-06-26

Cybercriminals are always on the prowl, looking for weak links to break and crack. How can users, especially in this increasingly connected world, have complete assurance that their data is safe, wherever it may be located?

Encryption is one of the most common ways to protect sensitive data. Encryption works by taking plain text and converting it into cipher text, which is made up of seemingly random characters. Only those who have the special key can decrypt it. AES uses symmetric key encryption, which involves the use of only one secret key to cipher and decipher information.

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the first and only publicly accessible cipher approved by the US National Security Agency (NSA) for protecting top secret information. AES was first called Rijndael after its two developers, Belgian cryptographers Vincent Rijmen and Joan Daemen.

The following illustration shows how symmetric key encryption works:

Figure 1. Symmetric key encryption


AES-256, which has a key length of 256 bits, supports the largest bit size and is practically unbreakable by brute force based on current computing power, making it the strongest encryption standard. The following table shows that possible key combinations exponentially increase with the key size. 

Key Size

Possible Combinations

1 bit


2 bits


4 bits


8 bits


16 bits


32 bits

4.2 x 109

56 bits (DES)

7.2 x 1016

64 bits

1.8 x 1019

128 bits (AES)

3.4 x 1038

192 bits (AES)

6.2 x 1057

256 bits (AES)

1.1 x 1077


Table 1. Key sizes and corresponding possible combinations to crack by brute force attack.




SecurEncrypt: Rock-Solid AES-256 Encryption on ATP Flash Storage Devices

SecurStor-enabled ATP flash storage devices feature SecurEncrypt with AES-256 encryption to safeguard data against unauthorized access.

They make use of a hardware-based set of security modules and an AES engine. When the host writes data to the flash storage device, a Random Number Generator (RNG) generates the 256-bit symmetric cipher key, which is passed to the AES engine. The AES engine encrypts the plain text (source data) into cipher text (encrypted data) and sends it to the NAND flash for storage.

Inversely, if the host wants to retrieve data from the storage device, the AES engine decrypts the cipher text in the NAND flash, and then transmits data to the host as plain text. The encryption/decryption process is done at the flash level and does not require host intervention, so there is no performance degradation and data transfer does not slow down.

Figure 2. AES-256 encryption mechanism in ATP SecurEncrypt


ATP SecurStor: Protection Beyond Encryption

SecurEncrypt using AES-256 encryption is one component of ATP SecurStor, a multi-level security suite that protects data with a variety of options beyond data-at-rest encryption. Customers can choose from features that can be customized according to their application-specific requirements to guard against unauthorized access, illegal copying and other security threats to ensure data, OS and firmware integrity at all times.

For more information about SecurStor-enabled ATP flash products, visit the ATP website or contact an ATP Representative.

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