New flash drives arrive on market for DOD

More secure removable-media devices are being released in response to the military's ban on flash drives

Companies are releasing newer, more secure removable media in response to the Defense Department banning flash drives and other such items last November.

These technologies are designed to meet the Army’s information assurance security requirements. One of these is the Kanguru Defender Elite, released at LandWarNet 2009, which features military grade, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard hardware; antivirus and malware protection; tamper and brute-force resistance; limited number of invalid login attempts; physical write-protect switch and is built to FIPS 140-2 standards.

In addition, the flash drive can be managed remotely from a central location via an encrypted TLS Internet communication tunnel. Administrators can remotely delete lost or stolen drives; set user/master passwords and device-provisioning policies; set online and off-line permissions; locate or restrict drives by IP address or domain and log and audit actions.

“The DOD’s ban on flash drives last winter acted as a wake-up call to the security risks inherent in the use of unmanaged media on secure networks,” said Nate Cote, vice president of product management at Kanguru Solutions. “We believe that with proper security and management tools, like Kanguru Remote Management Console, USB flash drives can be used safely and effectively without risking sensitive data.”

Meanwhile, the Army is taking a look at how it transmits data, reported Defense Systems earlier this month. The military service is developing capabilities to provide for collaboration and use of data transmitted by the system, including developing a network service center, said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, the Army’s chief information officer. However, it will take “a number of years in the future” for the entire Army to move to that model, he said.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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