Five Methods for USB Flash Drive Security

By · Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

USB flash drive security measures It’s important that every flash drive user knows that there’s more than one way to protect your digital data.  These different layers of protection address multiple security concerns.  You should be armed with the knowledge of what’s out there to protect you and how custom USB flash drives are versatile in helping your data stay safe.

Flash drive security software

Adding USB software protection is an easy and versatile measure that can be done with all custom USB drives.  It starts with an online download of an application like TrueCrypt (discontinued May 2014) or ClamWin.  TrueCrypt can encrypt partitions of your USB flash drive via six character passwords while ClamWin will detect and remove malware.  Having these kinds of programs in your arsenal are perfect for the casual user who prefers privacy but may not depend on it and needs to combat the constant stream of computer viruses lurking online or in devices.

Keypad Flash Drive Option

Some flash drives offer protection for the information on the inside by starting on the outside.  Like a physical lock, keypads built into the body of the drive allow users to create a PIN that must be entered before the USB drive is even operable.

Self-destruct Flash Drive Measures

While the term “self-destruct” conjures up images of espionage, it can be implemented in less explosive forms with a USB flash drive.  For example, Fujitsu makes a flash drive called the Tamatebako that can be configured to automatically erase old or sensitive files within a certain time frame.

Other flash drives like the IronKey will self destruct in the event of too many failed password attempts or if it detects another type of physical breach.  It accomplishes this by coating the flash chip with an impenetrable epoxy compound to prevent hacker access.  As a result, self destruct USB drives are exceptional for military, government and corporate applications.

USB Flash Drive Hardware Encryption

For privacy seekers and those with sensitive files, hardware encryption operates independently from your computer without accessing the flash memory.  USB hardware encryption is generally featured in block ciphers of 128-bit or 256-bit AES.  128-bit is effective for most business and commercial needs while 256-bit could sufficiently protect sensitive government intel.

There’s no need to install software or drivers to operate this kind of security, which makes it ideal in compatibility for a variety of systems.  Hardware encryption on flash drives is also best used to prevent external threats like malware or cold boot attacks.

Biometric Flash Drive Security

Forget memorizing a password—biometrics allows maximum security for your digital data with a simple touch.  A biometric USB drive can employ the use of your fingerprint and body temperature to gauge access privileges to the storage information.  This type of security is a great option when passwords are too easy to forget or if you are in an environment where they risk being keylogged.

What USB flash drive security measures do you employ to protect your data?

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