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Hiddn Security (based in Oslo, Norway) makes hardware-based encryption, authentication, and digital content security products, with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification. Hiddn’s technology has been selected by the Netherlands government to encrypt laptops and desktop PCs in their public sector. An encrypted SSD (128GB, 256GB or 512GB) contains a tamper-proof encryption chip, which provides AES-256 hardware-based encryption. Master boot records are also encrypted and encryption keys are stored on a smartcard external to the device, providing two-factor authentication.
FIPS stands for “Federal Information Processing Standards”. FIPS mode on Microsoft Windows complies with the US government FIPS 140 standard. The FIPS mode setting restricts Windows to use FIPS approved encryption ciphers. FIPS mode doesn’t make Windows more secure, it just blocks access to cryptographic methods that haven’t been FIPS-validated. The restriction implies that newer encryption methods, which are potentially more secure, are not used.