SanDisk Launches Two Secure USB Drives

New 1- and 2-GB flash drives for consumers and businesses marry easy file sharing and mandatory enterprise security with public/private data partitions.

Portable data memory maker SanDisk on June 4 introduced a pair of new USB flash drives designed to deliver security and speedy access to data for business users with Windows computers.

Dubbed Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise, the two new drives are aimed at the individual consumer/small business and at large organizations, respectively.

Cruzer Professional is primarily for individuals/small businesses who want to protect data while also making it easy to share selected files. Cruzer Enterprise is primarily for medium and large organizations that require mandatory policy enforcement, central management and regulatory compliance, a company spokesperson said.

Cruzer Professional features a password-protected "Privacy Zone" that can be any portion of the drives total capacity, the spokesperson said. Therefore, if the user would like to make 50 percent of the drive in the "Privacy Zone," the data inside this zone is encrypted, while the 50 percent of data outside the zone can be accessed by any user.

Cruzer Enterprise enforces mandatory password protection for the entire drive, so all files are encrypted if the drive is lost or stolen, the spokesperson said.

"USB flash drives offer an inexpensive and convenient way to carry large amounts of digital information in a pocket or purse, yet without proper security these benefits become a huge threat to businesses of all sizes," said Yariv Fishman, product manager for enterprise solutions in the USB business unit at SanDisk, in Milpitas, Calif.

"Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise are business tools which help ensure confidential data remains confidential—even if the drives themselves are lost or stolen."

The two USB flash drives offer password protection and data security through hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption, the spokesperson said.

Hardware-based encryption is more reliable than the software-based security used in most consumer USB flash drives with password protection, because software-based protection relies on the host computer—which can be compromised by spyware and other threats—to perform security operations, Fishman said.

Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise are true plug-and-play devices, requiring no software installation on a host computer, so the drives will connect instantly to any computer running a modern version of Microsoft Windows.

Both devices have read speeds of 24M bps and write speeds of 20MB per second. This speed reduces waiting time, which is particularly noticeable when moving large files, such as business presentations and video productions, the spokesperson said.

/zimages/1/28571.gifSanDisk adds enterprise security to flash portfolio. Click here to read more.

Mandatory encryption, as well as a set-up process that requires users to create complex passwords, make Cruzer Enterprise the USB flash drive of choice for organizations with high security requirements, such as public companies subject to the accounting laws, or health care providers falling under privacy regulations.

Cruzer Enterprise doesnt require installation of drivers or establishing administrative right on any host computer, so deployment is as simple as putting the drive into the hands of the user, Fishman said.

Cruzer Enterprise is also compatible with many leading enterprise security solutions that enforce policies on usage of removable storage devices, he added.

Pricing and availability

Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise are both available now in the United States. They are expected to be available in Europe in July, and in Asia later this year. Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise are compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003.

Cruzer Professional comes in three capacities, with retail prices as follows: 1GB for $54.99, 2GB for $94.99 and 4GB for $144.99. Cruzer Enterprise comes in the same three capacities, with prices as follows: 1GB for $74.99, 2GB for $124.99 and 4GB for $184.99.

SanDisk is the inventor of flash storage cards and is the worlds largest supplier of flash data storage card products.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...