Don’t let unprotected data walk out the door

It’s a small piece of hardware that has completely changed the way we handle and transport data. 

unprotected dataIn any office across the country, you’ll find them littered across work desks or packed into stationary cupboards, ready to transport often, sensitive company data. The humble USB drive has long been established as a critical tool that we use in our everyday work lives.

Yet, these small IT accessories are often overlooked as a serious data protection pressure point. Morality and professional ethics aside, the legal consequences of carrying unencrypted customer data is set to become centre stage for many organisations with the impending EU GDPR on 18 May 2017. The European Union General Data Protection Regulation was drawn up to regulate data privacy laws across the EU, including outside companies which deal with an EU resident’s data.

Organisations in breach of GDPR next year can be fined up to 4 per cent of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater, depending on the type of breach.

To put this into context, a study conducted by Kingston Technology across 480 companies found that 86 per cent of the USB drives do not use hardware-based encryption. While 18 per cent of company employees save sensitive data on USB drives, even more worryingly, 38 per cent of company’s USB drives have disappeared. It only takes one small USB to cause a lot of trouble for your company.

Cue Kingston and its collection of next-level encryption USB drives. Understanding the critical nature of safe data portability, the US memory products company has introduced the future of USB drives to Irish shores.

DataTraveler 2000The DataTraveler 2000 stands out particularly – it has a quirky alphanumeric keypad for word or number encryption, which is performed on the stick and leaves no trace on the system. (Federal Information Processing Standards) FIPS 197 certified, this small but mighty drive meets corporate IT requirements.

• Full-disk AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption

• Used on any device with a USB 2.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) port

• 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0.Next up, the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0. This dashing drive provides hard-ware based encryption, offering greater data protection over other block cipher modes, such as CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) and ECB. Available in Standard, Managed and Anti-Virus models, it protects 100 per cent of data stored and enforces complex password protection with minimum characteristics. Again, FIPS certified with added TAA (Trade Agreements Act) compliance, the drive locks down and reformats after 10 intrusion attempts.

• SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) technology

• 5 year pre-activated license

• 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

IronKey S1000.And last but certainly not least is the IronKey S1000. This bullet of a USB drive meets the strictest military-grade standards with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode and FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation. Never mind the Fort Knox-esque security feel to the IronKey, it responds to physical tampering as well, locking down after ten invalid password attempts. And with a self-destruct option built-in, you also have the option to reformat or destroy the drive.

• Anodised aluminium enclosure and epoxy-filled casing

• Dust and shock-resistant

• Waterproof to MIL-STD-810F standards

• Available from 4GB to 128GB

The countdown is on for the EU GDPR coming into play on 25 May 2018. It may be just one small aspect of the regulation, but an important element in preventing unnecessary data breaches. Don’t let one small USB cost your business up to €20 million.

What type of USB drives are used in your business? Visit for more information on encrypted USB drives.