Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting security under your thumb

I sure love thumb drives.  My buddy just handed me a thumb drive with a couple of movies on it…sweet.  I just plug the drive in and watch my movies from the thumb drive.  Almost everybody owns a thumb drive, and on those thumb drives we keep all kinds of information…some information may be more sensitive than a movie or music.

Consider someone who needs to import, or store customer data onto a drive.  Depending on the customer and the sensitivity of the data, a simple password might do the trick.  But if you’re paranoid like me, you might want to take your security to the next level…encryption.

There are plenty of programs that will encrypt your thumb drive, but we’re talking about taking thumb drive encryption to another level.  Enter the Kingston’s Data Traveler Vault and Data Traveler Vault –Privacy series thumb drives.  Kingston installs advance encryption onto the thumb drive as software and in the thumb drive hardware…which makes it extremely difficult to hack.

The Kingston Data Traveler is password protected.   The password is entered when you plug in the drive, and click on the DTFaultLock Format console.  The Console allows you to change passwords as well. When the password is entered and confirmed you can read and write data to a “private” area or a “public” area.  The private area is encrypted, while the public area is not.  The Kingston Data Traveler Vault – Privacy edition only has a privacy area.   Decryption happens after the password is confirmed.

The Data Traveler Vault uses AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard, 256-bit) encryption.  AES encryption requires the same exact key must be used to encrypt and decrypt the data, otherwise the data remains unreadable.  After 10 failed login attempts, the drive is locked down.  Locking the drive down after 10 attempts will prohibit the use password guessing programs.

Another benefit of the Kingston drive is that it works on both Windows and Mac.  Linux is not yet supported.
The Kingston Data Traveler Vault is between $200 and $220 for the 8-GB drive.  If protecting your data is extremely important, and your data cannot fall into the wrong hands, then this is the device for you.

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