- Costs More Than Basic Flash Drives
Have you ever lost a USB flash drive or any hard drive with important information? Did it have personal or sensitive work information that you wished would magically erase itself? You can bet many a computer user have lost sleep worrying about losing theirs. And, all too often a company employee has lost vital customer information probably to be sold to the highest bidder. What if you could transport your data securely in such a way that it can’t be retrieved through software or physical means?
Kingston has developed a very useful Managed Solution USB flash drive that makes transporting data easy and secure. That solution is the DataTraveler 4000 G2 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive. It offers built in AES encryption, management interface and a physical design that renders the device unrecoverable if opened. We found a room of white hat (and a couple gray hat) cyber security specialists willing to help put it to the test.
Features and Specifications
The Kingston DataTraveler 4000 G2 comes in two models: Management Ready (managed solution) and Standard. Capacities range from 4GB to 64GB. The Management Ready model supports Blockmaster Safe Console Management interface for physical or remote managing. The Standard does not. However, both do come with the following features:
- FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Validation – FIPS is a standard DoD and government follow for implementing security measures.
- 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption in XTS Mode – A built in controller ensures 100% of the stored data is encrypted and protected.
- Password Protection – A minimum number of characters are required and is also encrypted.
- Tamper Evident Seal – If the device is physically opened, or the crypto module is modified, the flash drive is essentially bricked – dead.
- Read-Only Access Mode – When selected, the flash drive can only be read protecting against malware intrusion.
- Secure Lock – After 10 failed login attempts, the controller formats the flash drive destroying all data.
- Durable and Waterproof – Sports a durable stainless steel housing and waterproof.
- TAA Compliant – Trade Agreement Act limits certain countries from acquiring these through normal means.
- 5-year warranty and free technical support.
For the more serious security users that like to validate and control external BYOD policy on their network so that only approved storage devices have access, Kingston has a Customization Program that can:
- Use a 24 character bar-coded serial number for cataloging and identifying trusted flash drives.
- Serial numbers can be etched externally.
- Add a custom Product Identification (PID) unique to the device and your organization.
- Select a secure protected and locked data block for organizational use.
- Program a dual password option with administrator password to unlock the drive.
- Load digital files on to a read-only CD partition on the flash drive to protect against accidental deletion. It uses a CheckSum and screenshot.
- Laser-etch your 4000 G2 with a custom logo or identifying mark.
Management-Ready (Optional BlockMaster)
Our sample is a DataTraveler 4000 G2 64GB Managed Solution flash drive. We sampled Blockmaster’s trial SafeConsole Secure USB software to see what it does. Not only does it recognize the Kingston DT4000G2M-R flash drive, the tool really does give you greater administrative control over your devices.
If you’re concerned with managing your DT4000G2M-R flash drives, it would be worth investing in the software to recover passwords, data, or use of the device.
Pricing and Availability
The Kingston DataTraveler 4000 G2 standard and management-read flash drives can be quite spendy. We’ve seen the 8GB cost $50 US. The 32GB model costs about $125 US available with free shipping in most cases.
This is obviously quite a bit more money than we’re use to spending. However, the DataTraveler 4000 G2 isn’t a common flash drive. Kingston took the time to research and thoroughly test the series to meet FIPS compliance and ensure it works with Blockmaster Security. That is not an easy thing to achieve without an investment. As it stands, any really serious security professional will appreciate the security control despite the cost.