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Security on a Stick - - - or a Hard Drive

Category: Hardware Published on Tuesday, 04 June 2013

Apricorn Takes Aim at Cyber Criminals with Two New Drives 


Let’s face it, the rash or cyberthefts can make us a bit paranoid. And, because of this, we find ourselves fumbling around trying to find more secure ways to protect our data - - - from confidential files to emails.

Apricorn to the rescue!

The folks at Apricorn have expanded their line of secure storage devices to include the Aegis Bio – USB 3.0 ($199 to $249, depending on capacity) and the Aegis Secure Key – USB 2.0 Flash Drive ($65 to $179).

The Aegis Bio uses a military grade FIPS PUB 197 validated encryption algorithm to protect your data, ensuring only you - - - or someone that has access to the drive - - - can read it.

Unlike other Apricorn drives, where you have to punch in a code on a keypad to access the drive, the Aegis Bio reads your fingerprint. In other words, you have to swipe your index finger on a sensor to access the encrypted files. The fingerprint is stored within the drive’s circuitry, so there’s no way for intruders to use that data by raiding your network or through software installed on your network.

Also, the Aegis Bio can store up to five individual fingerprints, which means you can grant other folks you trust access to your data.

In addition:

·         The drive can be used with any operating system, because there’s no software to install.

·         It’s an USB 3.0 device, which means you can access your files 10 times faster than when using USB 2.0.

·         You can purchase drives with capacities of 500GB, 750GB or one terabyte.

·         It comes with a three-year limited warranty.

The Aegis Secure Key flash drive is basically a vault on a USB stick.

It uses an FIPS PUB 140-2 validated encryption algorithm (256-bit AES CBC hardware encryption) to protect your data and access is gained by punching in a 7-to-15 digit PIN number. It’s also a USB 2.0 drive, which makes it a bit slower than the Aegis Bio, but the folks at Apricorn have assured me that a USB 3.0 version is on the horizon.

You also have the ability to reset the drive, which destroys the data and clears the PIN numbers. .It then creates a new encryption key and you’re ready to begin again. The drive has the capability to recreate an infinite number of encryption keys, which means you can reset it an infinite number of times.

Other features include:

·         You can purchase a 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or 32 GB drive.

·         The drive automatically locks when it is removed from the USB port of your computer.

·         It’s virtually unhackable, because the PIN numbers .are stored on the drive and can’t be accessed via software or by using a computer keyboard.

·         It’s dust and water resistant.

·         It’s protected from physical attacks by an epoxy coating.

·         It “self-destructs,” deleting the encryption key and all data if the wrong PIN number is entered 10 times.

·         You can set up user and admin PINs, which means the drive can be unlocked by an administrator if the user forgets his code. The user, of course, would have to set up a new PIN to gain access.

·         It’s compatible with any operating system.

For more information on either of these drives, go to the Apricorn website at

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at