Feeds
80%

IronKey 1GB secure USB Flash drive

Cast-iron data security?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Review What do you give the data security nut who has everything? IronKey may have the answer: what it claims is an almost totally secure, steely USB Flash drive that doesn't simply encrypt the data kept on it but protects your applications and online activities.

IronKey secure USB Flash drive and token
IronKey's IronKey: data vault

So no more worrying your missus might find and try that cheap Flash drive you back-up your pr0n on, then? Perhaps, but IronKey - the company - has more serious uses in mind for its dinky metal-clad product.

Out of the box, the IronKey isn't particularly distinguishable from a host of Flash drives, for all its brushed aluminium looks. But this boy's tough shell is more than skin deep. The company claims the drive is waterproof to US military standard 810F, which, if fully implemented, means it's able to withstand high and low pressures; extreme temperatures; rain, ice, dust and sand; and even gunfire vibration.

Puddles, then, are no problem, but you may not necessarily want to take it diving. Whatever, IronKey also claims its drive is solid and tamperproof too. We tried, without success, but we'd not like to state categorically that it's impervious to a determined data-thief with the right tools.

In addition to 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of on-board storage, the IronKey has its own cryptography chip that uses the very-difficult-to-crack AES, RSA-2048 and SHA-256 encryption algorithms not only to protected the data stored on the device itself but also to scramble the data the drive sends back and forth over the host PC's USB connection should anyone be snooping it.

It's worth stressing this point. The IronKey has hardware encryption, while almost all other secure Flash drives out there use software encryption. So crypto operations take place on the drive, not in memory, where they could, potentially, be tapped. Passwords are not stored in the drive's file system, but in a separate part of the hardware. The encryption keys are not held in the Flash memory.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.