Kingston Flash For Businesses


USB drives have been a popular gadget among consumers who like to move
digital content from one computer to the next. Their wild popularity, born
out of portability and capacity, has led enterprises to look into the
benefits of using the drives.


But USBs also scare many companies, which routinely ban them for fear that
ousted or disgruntled employees will plug them into computers and make off
with sensitive corporate information to use it for ill gains.


Kingston Technology Company today moved to solve that problem by introducing
DataTraveler Elite Privacy Edition, a USB Flash drive that
locks down data with 128-bit AES encryption, a powerful
security protocol.


Capable of storing up to 4 gigabytes (GB), DTE Privacy Edition is
tailored to meet security and compliance requirements for businesses. If
the drive is ever lost or stolen, the integrity of the data stored on the
device remains intact.


AES is just the beginning. The drive also features a complex password protocol
and a mechanism that locks out attackers after 25 consecutive failed
password attempts, ensuring information is accessible only by authorized
users.

Such users can access the encrypted files without the need for
additional software.


The drives may be used on any computer running Windows 2000 SP4 or higher
and Windows XP. As with most Flash drives, there are ascending grades of
capacity, with the base model priced at $48 for 256 megabytes, to $347 for
the 4GB gadget.


Gartner analyst Joseph Unsworth said enterprises that depend on keeping
certain data sacred, such as those in financial, government and health care
markets, need products that use robust encryption technologies like AES.


“The reason why a lot of U.S. companies aren’t rolling out Flash drives is
that they’re scared of them,” Unsworth said. “There’s a lot that can be at
risk there.


“Having the IT manager partitioning out these drives and giving
administration rights is going to be important. IT managers are going to
want to be able to manage these products and help minimize the risk
associated with them.”


Kingston and DTE Privacy Edition fits the bill, he said, noting that the
company has established trust by selling DRAM modules, which provide the
memory for many servers in the enterprise. He said the new drive could open
the door to wider adoption.


More broadly, Unsworth said market evidence suggests the enterprise presents
a big opportunity for the Flash drive makers, which include SanDisk,
Kingston, Lexar (soon to
be Micron) and Toshiba.


For example, 51.7 million USB Flash drives shipped in 2004, he said. Only 21
percent were purchased through the enterprise channels, while 67 percent
were purchased from the consumer channels. But during that same year, 51
percent of PCs were bought for the enterprise.


Unsworth said that while there isn’t a direct correlation between USB Flash
drives and PCs, USB drives are still centered around the PC.


“So that spells a very large opportunity given the installed base of PCs in
the enterprise and the fact that enterprise is not as price-sensitive as
consumers. They’re willing to pay for increased security because, there is a
lot at risk here for some of these companies.”

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