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New USB Flash Drives Stress Security

New York — Keeping valuable data secure from theft or loss was the order of the day for USB flash-drive vendors, who introduced a slew of new drives focusing on data security — including a product from Lexar that uses built-in fingerprint scanning to safeguard data.

Jasco announced its GE-branded Intelligent Stick USB 2.0 drive which features a compact, thin design and ships with a wallet case. The drives will be available in 64MB, 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacities for $29.90, $49.99, $89.99 and 149.99, respectively. The 64MB and 128MB Intelligent sticks are available now; the remainder ship next month.

The Intelligent Stick is packaged with software that allows users to partition the drive to create secure areas and password protection

Kingston Technology expanded its DataTraveler USB 2.0 product line with three new versions: DataTraveler II, DataTraveler II Plus and DataTraveler Elite.

The DataTraveler II and DataTraveler II Plus are loaded with SecureTraveler security software with private zones and password protection. The DataTraveler II has a data transfer rate of up to 11MBps read speed and a 7MBps write speed. The Plus models offer 19MBps read and 13MBps write speeds.

The DataTraveler II line will ship in 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB capacities for a suggested $28, $39, $60 and $107, respectively. The Plus line will be available in 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB capacities for a suggested $42, $65, $119 and $239, respectively.

The high-end DataTraveler Elite offers a boot utility with faster data transfer rates of up to 24 MBps read and14 MBps write. It is loaded with TravelerSafe+ software for creating password access control with 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware-based encryption. The drives will ship in 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB capacities for $53, $87, $154 and $288, respectively.

Lexar introduced a new product in its JumpDrive family with an integrated biometric fingerprint sensor to authenticate a user’s identity. Called the JumpDrive TouchGuard, the USB 2.0 drive uses Fujitsu’s MBF310 Sweep Sensor for scanning fingerprints. It can recognize up to 10 unique prints which, when scanned, allow access to data stored on the drive.

The TouchGuard can store up to 200 Web-site user names and passwords for instant access to Web-sites and secure surfing on multiple computers. Once the initial authentication process is completed, the user’s fingerprint, data and password are safely stored on the JumpDrive and cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.

The drive also features AES 256-bit encryption for additional security. It will available in a 256MB capacity for a suggested $69.99.

SanDisk announced free and pay security software upgrades for owners of its Cruzer USB flash drives. The software, called CruzerLock 2 is available from the company’s Web site and lets users to encrypt, decrypt, compress and password-protect personal files, including entire folders stored on Cruzer USB drives.

The new security software was created by Boulder, Colo.-based encryptX.

Users can purchase optional upgrades with further enhancements. A Basic Upgrade for $19.99 adds the ability to encrypt documents on the hard drive of a personal computer.

Two other versions, Premium and Professional, for $49.99 and $79.99, respectively, provide advanced features for small businesses and larger corporations, including various permission combinations and the ability to lock protected content to a specific computer or group of PCs.