Choosing the best Hardware Encrypted USB Flash Drive

July 26, 2018


Lost or stolen data might be a nightmare for a company, as the growing complexity of security challenges push organizations to adopt strong security practices. As more and more users store sensitive information on their laptops, smartphones or portable storage devices, the frequency of lost or stolen data will continue to rise. Security experts recommend that organizations should seek to implement full encryption of all devices that may contain sensitive enterprise data. Discover below our list of recommended encrypted USB Flash Drives.

Software Encryption and Hardware Encryption

There are 2 types of encryption for USB Flash Drive: hardware encryption and software encryption. Software encryption software is offered as a cheaper alternative to hardware encryption, but the disadvantages tend to outweigh the benefits. Though software encryption is better than having no encryption at all, it may not provide the full security that organizations are expecting, to keep sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Encrypted drives offer strong levels of security such as password protection and fingerprint scanners to access the stored data. At the heart of hardware encryption lies a separate processor dedicated to encryption and authentication, therefore not dependent on the main system resources. The encryption standard typically used is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is a cryptographic module set out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Different levels of AES hardware encryption exist – notably, 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit – with each key size representing an increase in the level of protection and complexity of the encryption/decryption processes. According to a FinjanBlog post, even the lowest level provides an appreciable degree of security protection, as an analyst at Leuven University explained: “If a hacker were to attempt to “break the code” to gain access to an AES 128-bit encrypted flash drive, the number of steps he would have to take is an 8 followed by 37 zeros. This would take a trillion machines, testing a billion keys per second, two billion years to uncover an AES-128 key.”

Best hardware encrypted USB Flash Drives

The Kanguru Defender 3000

According to the manufacturer, the Kanguru Defender 3000 is the fastest, most advanced, secure, hardware encrypted flash drive in the world. Designed to address the most demanding security standards, this Superspeed USB 3.0, AES 256-bit hardware encrypted flash drive is ideal for keeping sensitive government, financial or corporate information highly secure. The device uses FIPS validated AES 256-bit Hardware encryption (XTS-Mode) to secure data contents stored on the USB drive. Since the cryptographic processes are all done in hardware, there is virtually no performance impact when transferring data, unlike the severe performance impact when using software encryption programs. Its casing is protected with an epoxy compound that is water resistant and prevents physical access to the chip.

Aegis Secure Key – USB 3.0 Flash Drive

This little flash drive from Apricorn comes with 256-bit AES XTS hardware encryption and it has been tested and validated by FIPS to ensure that it meets the highest standard for computer information security. It is their most rugged encrypted device featuring IP58 certification against blowing dust and sustained water immersion. It’s fully compatible with all operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0

One of the best options for an encrypted flash drive, Kingston’s Vault Privacy 3.0 USB Flash drive provides affordable business-grade security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode. It protects 100 percent of data stored and enforces complex password protection with minimum characteristics to prevent unauthorized access. The USB Flash Drive is also available with easy-to-deploy Anti-Virus protection from ESET that protects the drive’s content from viruses, spyware, trojans, worms, rootkits, adware and other Internet-borne threats.

Farsler encrypted Pen Drive with Fingerprint Recognition

This USB stick is a safe storage tool for any of your important files as it uses powerful biometric technology to prevent unauthorized access to data. One of its interesting features is a double sector integrated directly so that one may have both public and hidden folders on the drive. The hidden one is the secure place and it only appears after the fingerprint authentication. It’s compatible with all the newer versions of Windows from XP to Windows 10 and works well with Linux and Mac too. The device comes just with the USB 2.0 standard performance, so it may be a bit slow when trying to transfer larger volumes of data.

Integral Envoy Dual FIPS 197 Encrypted USB 3.0

This USB Flash Drive provides a highly secure and simple to use security solution for portable data, featuring mandatory encryption of all files stored on the Flash Drive, Dual passwords (Administrator and User) and a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface. It uses AES 256-bit hardware encryption and has been independently tested for data encryption by the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) committee and validated to FIPS 197. Works on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10 and Mac OS X without administrator privileges.