Lots and lots of us are storing more and more of our data on the cloud. We’re entrusting potentially sensitive files to a system that’s ripe with opportunities for human error. Unless you’ve got yourself a particularly secure data storage solution, the cloud isn’t really an option for you if you have extremely sensitive data that needs to be stored and transferred regularly. With that in mind, then, what are your options? If you find yourself in a position where you need to deal with important data, what should you do? How should you find yourself a storage solution?
Enter SecureDrive. This excellent company operates out of California, a haven for technologically-minded sorts and the home of data excellence. It should come as no surprise, then, that SecureDrive has a whole range of data products on offer. From hard drives to USB keys, SecureDrive is essentially a single-handed market for secure storage options. Today, we’re going to look at the SecureUSB KP, a hardware-encrypted USB flash drive that purports to be the final word in secure data transfer.
The SecureUSB KP has an impressive list of accolades under its belt. It won the 2019 Red Dot Design Award for “strongly simplifying mobile data protection” and has its very own FIPS 140-2 security certificate. This isn’t a drive to be sniffed at when it comes to keeping your data safe. The drive’s capacity ranges from 4GB to 128GB, so even if you’ve got huge files to move, you’ll be safe here. Whichever capacity you opt for, you’re effectively getting the same drive, so our review will apply to all capacities (although we looked at the 32GB version).
Although secure data transfer should, of course, be the KP’s number one priority, it’s also important for SecureDrive to make it look nice. Thankfully, they’ve succeeded in that endeavour. The SecureUSB KP is a sleek-looking and minimalistic drive that will slot nicely into any PC or laptop in which it finds itself. It’s a little bulkier than most – as you might expect given its additional security protocols – but it won’t worry even the sleekest backpack or back pocket. Appearance isn’t a major focus for the KP, but it still manages to do the job more than well enough.
It’s not just appearance that informs the form factor, though. We’ll get onto the hardware encryption and data security protocols in a minute, but we were thoroughly impressed by how rugged and hard-wearing the KP drive is. This drive is IP57 certified. IP stands for Ingress Protection, and it’s effectively a parameter by which a device can be judged to be protected against the elements. IP57 means that your KP drive is dustproof and waterproof up to depths of one metre. You won’t be scuba diving with this, but you’ll easily be able to protect your data while driving or during a rainstorm.
Outside of the IP protection, the KP is a standard USB drive with a difference. A keypad consisting of twelve different keys adorns its surface. This keypad functions as the password entry system, ensuring that the drive can’t be hacked through software. You’ll get full AES 256-bit XTS encryption in the KP, which means your data goes through fourteen different rounds of encryption to ensure that it’s completely unrecognisable from its original form (to others, of course – to you it remains totally visible). SecureDrive really is offering the last word in USB data protection with the KP.
You don’t need to worry if you’re not a bona fide expert with computers, either. Setting up and using the KP couldn’t be simpler; we don’t think computer-phobic people will have a problem using this drive. Since authentication is entirely alphanumeric and controlled through the keypad, you’ll be able to simply plug the drive in, enter your password, and access your data. You can set PIN codes of between seven and fifteen digits. Just to put that in context, if you’re using a six-digit PIN, the chances of someone correctly guessing that PIN are literally one in a million.
Lest you think SecureDrive’s SecureUSB KP is not accessible, think again. Even though it packs all of this security into such a small form factor, you can use the KP with literally any operating system or device that has a USB port. That means no matter what your laptop is running – macOS, Windows, or Linux – you’ll be able to access your data. The drive does come preloaded with DriveSecurity ESET antivirus software, but the actual process of accessing your files is totally universal. Put simply, you’ll be able to give this device to anyone or keep it with you and still get to your data wherever you are.
There are also lots of nifty anti-tamper features included with the SecureUSB KP. You can switch between two modes – Admin and User – depending on who’s got the drive at any given time. This means you can pass the drive off to an employee or a third party for delivery, put it into User mode, and make it so that only those who know the password can access the data. The interior parts of the KP are covered in epoxy resin, making intact data retrieval impossible for even the most dedicated hacker. In short, this is a drive for the security-conscious.
That is, in a nutshell, the greatest advantage and perhaps the greatest flaw of the SecureUSB KP. You won’t use a lot of this drive’s features if you’re not overly concerned about security. This is a drive with a very niche audience; it’s targeted entirely at people who need this level of security to operate a business. In today’s increasingly hack-prone world, though, a device like the SecureUSB KP comes as a welcome boon. Even if you’re just protecting minor company secrets, you owe it to yourself to pick up this drive. It’s not cheap, but it does what it does better than any of its competitors.