Kingston BlackBox is more secure
Granted, the majority of us won’t carry around information on our USB flash drives that are too incriminating should someone else pick it up due to our forgetfulness, but you can never be too careful, right? After all, with the deluge of passwords and PIN numbers that one has to memorize these days, it can get pretty tough trying to store all that information in our head hence some people use a USB flash drive instead. Kingston’s effort to increase security where USB flash drives are concerned is reflected in its latest release – the DataTraveler BlackBox which will ship in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities. The Kingston BlackBox holds the distinction of being the first Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)-validated USB flash drive, so if you happen to pick this up you’ll own a piece of history.
Gaining FIPS 140-2 certification requires a validation process that meets federal requirements set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Communications Security Establishment of the Government of Canada. This is critical because many governmental agencies in the United States and Canada mandate that sensitive “data at rest” (i.e., all information not in the network) must be encrypted with the FIPS 140-2 standard.
The FIPS Level 2 standard requires the DT BlackBox to run a power-on self test which verifies that the encryption architecture is functioning each time it is plugged into a USB port. Beyond the NIST certification, the DataTraveler BlackBox features 256-bit hardware-based AES encryption via a dedicated processor which automatically encrypts and decrypts data on the fly. The drive automatically locks down after ten consecutive failed password attempts, thus helping to prevent unauthorized access if the drive is lost, stolen or misplaced.
The 2GB, 4GB and 8GB BlackBox USB flash drives will retail for $165, $242 and $424, respectively.