Kingston Technology IronKey D300S

Editorial Type: Review Date: 01-2020 Views: 1,255 Tags: Security, Kingston Technology, IronKey D300S
With the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) now in full force, all businesses have a legal duty to protect sensitive and personal data whilst it's in transit - and that means encrypting it

Kingston has the ideal solution, as its latest IronKey D300S USB flash drive delivers military-grade 256-bit AES XTS hardware encryption and extreme ease of use.

Available in capacities from 4GB up to 128GB, the D300S is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified. This means it meets stringent US government requirements, such as physical security, cryptographic key management and authentication. One feature that differentiates the D300S from the standard D300 is each unit has a unique serial number and barcode printed on its case. This makes it appealing to security administrators, as they can scan these details in and use them to streamline auditing, asset management and tracking processes.

Build quality is exceptional, as the D300S is encased in a reassuringly weighty zinc casing, while the thick rubber seal inside the protective lid keeps it waterproof to a depth of 4 feet. Physical security is enhanced further, as the case employs a tamper-evident epoxy seal.

Using the D300S is a breeze as, after insertion in the host computer, it presents a Read Only partition with a user manual and software. You simply run the IronKey application from it and, if the drive is new and uninitialised, it presents a quick start wizard which asks for an encryption password to be created.

This must be between 8 and 16 characters and requires three of the four criteria which are upper case, lower case, numeric and special characters. You can add a password hint, which, obviously, can't be the actual password and optionally provide a name and company details (which also can't be the exact password). Keyloggers and screenloggers are nullified, as the software provides a virtual keyboard. When selected, this pops up below the main interface and can be used for the initial setup phase and ongoing usage.

When the D300S is inserted in a computer, the user runs the application, which asks for the password. If correct, it unlocks the device and presents a standard FAT32 formatted drive with a letter assigned.

Hackers won't get many chances to guess or brute force the password, as a built-in tracker checks for failed password attempts. After 10 unsuccessful attempts, it locks the device and only allows it to be used again after it has been re-initialised and formatted. The count isn't cumulative as, once you've authenticated, the tracking counter is reset back to zero. When the device is unlocked, IronKey presents a set of tools accessible from the Windows System Tray. These provide access to settings where you can change the password, hint and contact information, browse the drive, reformat it and safely eject it.

We tested the 64GB D300S model - and its USB 3.1 interface is capable of delivering excellent file copy performance. With the drive inserted in a Dell workstation running Windows 10, we saw Iometer report raw sequential read and write rates of 258MB/sec and 138MB/sec - slightly better than Kingston's claims.

The CrystalDiskMark tool confirmed our findings, with it reporting sequential read and write rates of 260MB/sec and 142MB/sec. Results from our real-world testing were also on the money, as copying a 2GB test file between the workstation and D300S returned sustained read and write transfer rates of 230MB/sec and 136MB/sec.

Kingston's IronKey D300S means that businesses have absolutely no excuses for failing to protect confidential data in transit. Available in a good range of capacities, the affordable D300S delivers the toughest encryption and is so easy to use it requires virtually no training.

Product: IronKey D300S
Supplier: Kingston Technology
Web site: www.kingston.com
Tel: +44 (0)1932 738888
Price: 4GB - £69 exc VAT