Encrypted Storage Devices for Your SMB

Paul Mah

In my last post, I outlined the importance of ensuring that data stored on portable storage devices is encrypted. This is a challenge to some SMBs that may be stumped by the additional steps that data encryption necessitates.

Fortunately, there are a number of storage devices that come with built-in data encryption. While slightly pricier than their non-secured cousins, they are easy to use and offer robust data encryption essentially to prevent data leakage.

Though by no means exhaustive, I’ve outlined a trio of them below to help you get started quickly.

LOK-IT Secure Flash Drive

As its name implies, the LOK-IT Secure Flash Drive is a fully functional USB flash drive that is FIPS 140-2 Level 3-certified. Data is protected with 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and the correct passcode must first be entered using the onboard PIN-pad in order to unlock the drive.

One unlocked, the LOK-IT behaves like a standard flash drive and is plugged into a USB port. Files copied onto the drive are encrypted inline, or copied out as decrypted data. Unplugging the drive automatically locks it again, making for a dummy-proof user experience.

The LOK-IT will work with any operating system such as Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and is available in capacities of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB.

StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure

SMB users looking for an encrypted storage device with higher capacity may want to take a closer look at the StarTech Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure (S2510BU3PW). The speedy USB 3.0 enclosure works with standard 2.5-inch hard disk drives (HDD) or solid-state drives (SSD) of up to 1TB capacity.

A capacitance touchpad and miniature OLED display on its front allow for the enclosure to be unlocked like the LOK-IT. Data written to the storage device is encrypted in real time using 256-bit AES encryption; attempting to access the HDD directly will show only gibberish.

iTwin File Access

The iTwin File Access is not exactly a storage device, though its ability to easily create a VPN connection between two computers allows files stored on a work computer to be accessed from elsewhere. Its maker touts it as a “limitless capacity secure USB drive,” citing the fact that data transfers are encrypted end-to-end.

Interestingly, iTwin has recently added a free “SecureBox” upgrade that allows data to be encrypted and transferred to a cloud storage service such as DropBox. Because the cryptographic key is stored on the iTwin, the physical hardware is needed to access files stored using the SecureBox feature. The iTwin File Access is priced at $99.


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