Tamper-proof key drive gets Level 3 validation
- By John Breeden II
- Mar 18, 2013
GCN tested several hard drives from Apricorn over the years. Most of them not only come with internal security but also a keypad so that users can set up two-factor authentication using only the device itself and a password.
One of the most portable drives in the Apricorn family is the Aegis Secure Key. It’s a thumb drive with various flash disk sizes. And yes, even though it’s tiny, it has a numeric keypad lock like the rest of the Apricorn lineup. What it also has, starting now, is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation.
The encrypted flash drive incorporates secure PIN authentication via the embedded keypad and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard hardware encryption, providing fully hardware-based security. The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) is the benchmark in government data security; the rigorous testing procedures demonstrate the highest standard set for encryption algorithms and data protection implementation.
The Aegis Secure Key’s FIPS 140-2 validation covers 11 areas of its cryptographic security system, including physical security, cryptographic key management and design integrity.
The Aegis Secure Key’s FIPS validation covers multiple layers of data protection, including military grade AES CBC 256-bit hardware encryption, an alphanumeric keypad to prevent software key logging, a seven- to 15-digit PIN code and a software-free design that’s cross-platform compatible with no administrator rights required. In addition, the Level 3 certification is based on the fact that the drive is tamper resistant. An epoxy resin destroys the circuit board’s components if someone tries to pry their way inside.
Finally, if a password is entered incorrectly 10 times, the drive will completely erase its contents.
The FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation means that Apricorn’s Aegis Secure Key has passed rigorous testing, performed by a certified third-party laboratory, conforming to the Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program and the Cryptographic Module Validation Program. The Aegis Secure Key’s FIPS 140-2 validation has been listed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under certification 1876.
Prices for the Secure Key range from $65 for a 4G version to $170 for 32G.
John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.