iStorage has offered up a USB drive that aims to meet the needs of business and government users who require military-grade security for their data.
The USB stick comes with an aluminium case that provides protection against water and dust. When sealed in the casing, the USB drive looks similar to any other memory stick, but sliding it out of its protective cover reveals a small but usable on-board keypad for entering a PIN. iStorage says the keypad ensures the USB drive is not vulnerable to keyloggers as the PIN is entered via the unit rather than a keyboard. The firm also points out using physical encryption helps to make sure the drive is not susceptible to viruses or brute force attacks.
The drive's LEDs inform the user of the status of the drive. For example, when you press the lock button the red and green lights flash indicating that you should now enter your PIN. If successfully entered, you will get the green light and if incorrect you get the red light. It's all pretty straightforward. A bit of complex button pressing is required when you want to create user and admin passwords, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
To use the device you have to push the button with the key icon, enter your PIN and then connect up to a USB port within 30 seconds. If the device is not connected within this time then it automatically locks down and data is inaccessible until the PIN is typed in again.
Users have to set up a numerical password between seven and 15 digits in length. The device does not allow users to set up a password that has repeating numbers (3-3-3-3-3-3-3) or that is sequential (1-2-3-4-5-6-7). It is also possible to set up an admin password, which means data can be recovered even if the primary user forgets their password. This administrator access is likely to make the device very appealing to IT departments that are looking to deploy USB drives.