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New USB Drives Stress Security

Keeping valuable data secure from theft or loss is the order of the day for USB flash drive vendors, who have introduced a slew of new drives focusing on data security, including a product from Lexar which 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 drives come packaged with software that allows you 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 11MB per second (MBps) 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 and 14 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 be available in 256MB capacity for a suggested $69.99.

SanDisk announced free and pay security software upgrades for users of its Cruzer USB flash drives. The software is available from the company’s Web site.

The new version of CruzerLock, called CruzerLock 2, will enable users to encrypt, decrypt, compress and password-protect personal files, including entire folders stored on Cruzer USB drives.

The new security software that SanDisk is offering to all owners of Cruzer USB Flash Drives comes from encryptX Corporation.

Apart from the free version of CruzerLock 2, users can purchase optional upgrades with further enhancements.

The Basic Upgrade, currently selling for $19.99, adds the ability to encrypt documents on the hard drive of a personal computer, thus giving a user protection from spyware programs that zero in on sensitive personal and financial information such as social security and credit card numbers. The Basic Upgrade spreads its safety net over both the Cruzer Flash Drive and the host computer.

Two other versions, Premium and Professional, 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. Those programs are presently being offered on-line for $49.99 and $79.99, respectively, direct from encryptX.