Secure USB Flash Drive IronKey

Introduction

I’ve always been big on securing data especially data that I carry on my flash drive. In today’s society sensitive data should be guarded with priority. The last thing you’d want to happen is have your information stolen simply because the data on the thumb drive wasn’t encrypted. There are many alternative ways of securing data on an ordinary thumb drive. In the past the common method I’ve used to encrypt my data is through the use of Truecrypt. The basic premise of this process requires the Truecrypt executable, Truecrypt.sys file and the encrypted data on the flash drive and via Truecrypt you can browse the data.

Well there is a much simple process of securing your sensitive data. Introducing the IronKey with it’s built-in Cypto chip can encrypt data to and from the drive on the fly. IronKey will encrypt your data automatically once it’s placed in thumb drive. The Crypto chip touted as an “always on” encryption. It cannot be accidentally switched off. So you will never forget to secure your data.

To access your data stored on the IronKey you will need provide the IronKey Control Panel password to initiate the thumb drive every time it’s plugged into a PC. The password set up is performed during the initialization and activation process of the IronKey.

Without this password you will not be able to access the secured file. In fact the volume won’t be accessible unless the IronKey is initiated with the password.

Here the list of notable features of the IronKey:

  • Encrypts data

As previously mentioned data is “always” encrypted via the military-grade AES Crypto chip.

  • Protect Passwords

IronKey’s Password Manager is probably one of my favorite feature. I dont have to worry about my ISP, many webmail, countless membership username and passwords. IronKey’s Password Manager stores all these information and logs me in automatically when I’m on the website. I’ll never be in situation where I can’t login to a website because I don’t remember the password or the username.

  • Secure Browsing

This is achieved via a hardened version of Mozilla Firefox. You can surf anonymously and securely when Secure Session is enabled.

Iron Key - Control Panel

Anonymous surfing does work by using IronKey’s Tor servers. This is very handy when you’re logged onto your net banking.

Switch on Secure Browsing and point your browser to www.whatismyipaddress.com you should get the following:

Secure Browsing

  • Secure Backup

What’s the point of encrypting sensitive data if it cannot be recovered if the thumb drive fails or is lost? It’s painful to lose data even when it’s encrypted. IronKey provides a simple to use back up interface.

Secure Backup Screenshot

The beauty about this process is that the back up files can be stored on your PC or a CD/DVD media without a worry because the data is automatically encrypted. The data can only be accessed when the data is placed back into the IronKey. This means if you lose your drive you can recover your files easily without too much downtime by purchasing another IronKey. Just ensure you perform regular back ups of your data.

  • Tamper proof

If you happen to misplace your IronKey rest easy because your data will be safe. Firstly the IronKey will self destruct if the Control Panel password is entered in incorrectly 10 times. At this stage the IronKey is rendered unusable. Also if the IronKey detects a physical attack it will initiate the self destruct method(I haven’t tested this since I don’t have a spare IronKey lying around). As mentioned previously it’s best you have a regular back up plan just in case you lose your IronKey.

Conslusion

If you’re on the market for an secure thumb drive give the IronKey a look. I recommend it to anyone serious about their data. Website: www.ironkey.com

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