Have you ever lost a USB drive that contained important information? There’s no feeling more terrifying than that drop in the pit of your stomach when you realise that the drive you’ve been carrying isn’t with you anymore.
You can’t remember where you dropped it, but you know the files that were on it, and you really don’t want anybody else to see them; they could be business secrets or personal information, but whatever the case may be, you’re terrified someone else is going to get their hands on that data now.
That’s where companies like iStorage, which makes the datAshur range, come in. iStorage has been making secure flash drives and storage solutions since 2009, when CEO John Michael watched a number of drives and documents containing sensitive information get leaked or stolen.
Michael decided that a new paradigm was needed, and so was born iStorage, which is still going strong today. One of the company’s latest products is the datAshur Pro C, a USB-C flash drive that purports to keep all your information safe from prying eyes (and hands). What is it, though, and why do you need it? Let’s take a look!
datAshur Pro C features: what kind of drive is it?
iStorage itself describes the Pro C as a “user-friendly USB 3.2 drive that combines ease of use with top-level security measures”. That’s a pretty succinct and accurate description; it’s essentially a version of the traditional USB flash drive that also happens to contain some of the most advanced security you’re likely to find.
To put it simply, if you ever deal with sensitive information you don’t want others to see for whatever reason, then the Pro C is designed for you. According to iStorage, it’s also the first drive to be pending validation for FIPS 140-3 Level 3 certification. This is a US and Canadian government standard for cryptographic hardware effectiveness, and it’s the latest of its kind, so it’s intended to protect against any and all encroaching threats to data security.
So, what kind of features will you find on the Pro C? Let’s take a look at some of its key points of interest and see what makes it tick.
PIN protection. The datAshur range’s secret weapon is the built-in keypad, which means you’ll need to input a PIN of between 8 and 15 digits before you can access your data. If you don’t input that PIN, then there’s simply no way to get to the data inside the drive. Simple, but effective!
Hardware encryption. As well as being protected by a PIN, the data on the datAshur Pro C is also encrypted with AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encryption as soon as you remove the drive from its USB port, which means you don’t need to worry about hackers decrypting your information.
Protected components. The internals inside the Pro C are all protected by epoxy resin, so any “interested parties” can’t take the device apart without causing serious damage to it, thus rendering the data inaccessible.
Tamper-evident design. It should be obvious at a glance whether someone has tried to tamper with the Pro C thanks to a “tamper-evident” design, so if someone does happen to get their hands on your drive and try to take it apart to get at the secrets within, you’ll know they’ve done so.
Wear-resistant keypad. Have you ever seen a Hollywood movie where a hacker guesses the combination to a keypad based on fingerprints or keypad wear and tear? That’s not going to happen with the Pro C thanks to polymer coating that protects the keypad, making sure it doesn’t give away which keys are commonly used.
Rugged and waterproof design. Naturally, a device like this wouldn’t be much use if it could easily be destroyed or submerged in water, so the Pro C is IP68 water and dust-resistant (although this accreditation is pending at time of writing), and it’s also designed to “withstand the weight of a 2.7-ton vehicle”, according to iStorage.
Four storage capacity options. You can pick up the Pro C in either 32GB, 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB variants.
What security features does the datAshur Pro C have?
In addition to the above-outlined features, the Pro C also has lots of extra security protocols that should make it even harder for unscrupulous individuals to get their hands on your information. Here are a few of those features.
- Separate user and admin PINs. You can set separate PINs for users and admin, so if a user forgets their PIN, you can reset it yourself, making the drive ideal for businesses and governments.
- Read-only mode. If you want to, you can configure the datAshur Pro C so that the data on it can only be read and not altered. Again, this is an admin feature, so if you need to give the drive to a user so that they can transport it somewhere or use it themselves, you can ensure that the user can’t alter or tamper with the data themselves.
Hack protection. The Pro C is programmed so that if the wrong user PIN is entered 10 times, only the admin PIN will be valid from that point onwards. If, however, the admin PIN is entered wrong 10 times, then the data on the drive will be deleted forever, completely beyond the point of restoration. This ensures that hackers trying to brute force their way into your drive can’t do so easily.