It’s your digital safe. You just loaded up all your private information and images, along with some work documents on your USB Flash drive. They are so portable, easy, and convenient. The ultimate way to keep your stuff safe, with you at all times, right?
Well as you may remember in a prior article I wrote back on May 6, 2013 “Why Flash Media Will Burn You“, I am definitely NOT a fan of using Flash media for anything more than a very temporary storage option, and certainly don’t put anything on there you can’t absolutely afford to lose, or see on the front page of the newspaper for all to see.
Well, there may be one exception. If you must use USB Flash drives, and really need to keep your information safe, then the ultimate solution may be the Ironkey. I don’t normally do product reviews, but this needs a spotlight.
This is definitely NOT your common USB Flash drive. The technology is quite impressive, utilizing some of the strongest encryption available, with FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification meeting all requirements for use by civilian and military U.S. federal agencies. Ruggedized and waterproof to military specs, its metal casing prevents the drive from being crushed, even under extremely high pressure, and it can even handle 16Gs of force. The metal casing is filled with an epoxy-based potting compound to seal all components against moisture and tampering, surrounds and completely encases the chips and circuitry. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to remove the memory in an attempt to access the data by removing the chips and placing them on another device. Any such attempt would cause permanent damage to the chips, rendering the stored data unreadable.
Furthermore, the IronKey USB drive implements tamper-reaction technology in the firmware. The Cryptochip defends itself against power analysis, temperature, and probing attacks. It will self-destruct by erasing the data and keys when it detects any of these types of attacks.
If that isn’t enough, IronKey devices are protected by thin-film metal shielding around the onboard memory. This electromagnetic shielding provides another layer of defense against tampering by protecting against invasive attacks such as electronic scanning of the memory contents.
The final touch of finnesse, the metal casing is laser engraved with a unique serial number, making sure someone can’t swap out a physical duplicate when you aren’t looking.
Ironkey drives are built to stand up to continuous use on the road. Dual-channel SLC flash memory delivers exceptional performance and longevity, 10 to 20 times the average memory lifespan of a traditional flash drive, and are compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows (8/7/Vista/XP), Mac (OS X 10.5 and up), and Linux (2.6 and up).
While all the security features of this drive are, honestly, amazing, I would still urge you to exercise due caution based on the sensitivity of the information you load up on your drive.
It’s good to have an option as elegantly designed, and expertly implemented in a product such as this.