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Keep Thieves Away from Your Data

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Category: Hardware Published on Wednesday, 07 December 2011

Lock Out Intruders with New Flash Drives from Lok-It and Apricorn

How secure is your data?

That little USB flash drive you carry around in your pocket or briefcase probably contains everything from personal documents to phone numbers. But what happens if you lose it or it gets stolen?

It may even be password protected, but a talented thief would probably have little problem discovering your password and, thus, retrieve your data. All he needs is a computer with a USB port.

Woe is we!!!!

If only some forward-looking company would develop more secure protection for these drives.

Enter, stage left, two new USB flash drives from Lok-It and Apricorn.

The Lok-It Secure Flash Drive ($96.95 - $182.95, depending on capacity) and the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key ($65 - $125) avoid the password dilemma by requiring the user to enter a 7-to-15-digit PIN number on a keypad on the drive.

Both drives require you to enter the PIN number before you insert them into the USB port on your computer. This eliminates the need for any type of password or software de-encryption of files by your computer. This also makes it harder for a hacker to access files on the drives.

Both drives also automatically lock and use 256-bit encryption to protect files when they are removed from the computer. This, again, eliminates the need for computer software.

Lastly, they both can be used on any device that can read data from a flash drive, including printers, tablet computers and other portable devices.

In fact, if I laid these drives side-by-side, you would probably have a tough time telling the difference between the two.

According to the folks at Lok-It, the one thing that makes their drive more expensive than Apricorn's is its Level 3 140 Series Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) rating, which was developed by the U.S. government.

A Lok-It spokeperson goes on to explain that "without FIPS validation you are left out of the government, healthcare and military channels and although it's not an 'official' requirement for major corporations, most Fortune 500 companies will not consider use of non-FIPS validated drives.

"The 140 series refers to computer security standards that specify requirements for cryptography modules with four levels of ratings. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology sets the criteria with Level 4 being the highest.

"For a Level 3 validation, a component must be tamper resistant, encrypt data and allow identity-based authentication. A product receives its validation only after an accredited laboratory reviews it."

Check out www.lok-it.net and www.apricorn.com for more information.

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