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As user unease about lost media continues, German software startup Nero today took the wraps off a technology it claims will secure optically stored data. (See Nero's SecurDisc Debuts.)

Nero's move comes at a time when CIOs and IT managers are under massive pressure to prevent embarrassing security breaches that have dogged the likes of Time Warner and Iron Mountain. (See A Tale of Lost Tapes, Iron Mountain Keeps Truckin', and Pundits Ponder Potential Pitfalls.) Just as vendors such as Decru and Neoscale have used encryption to protect data on backup tapes, so Nero is looking to do the same with optical storage. (See Decru, Sepaton Team and NeoScale Faces Up to 4-Gig Encryption.)

At the CES show in Las Vegas this week, the startup unveiled its SecurDisc product, which execs claim can prevent unauthorized access to data on CDs and DVDs. The idea behind SecurDisc is that users can run AES 128-bit encryption on their optical media via storage devices and DVD writers, and implement passwords to prevent unauthorized access.

A number of software vendors, such as Symantec, are already playing in this space, although Charly Lippoth, Nero's CTO, told Byte and Switch that his firm is adding a hardware element to its software story.

To better lock down data, Nero is looking for vendors of CD and DVD devices to modify the firmware on their drive technology to work with the SecurDisc software. "We're using the drive's firmware as a channel to pass the authentication to the disk" he says, noting that this will offer an additional layer of security to users.

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