Computer-generated cloud graphic surrounded by device icons to represent desktop, laptop, and mobile devices

Is Encrypted Storage Needed If You Use the Cloud?

That is a question we hear a lot. It makes sense that people would ask. After all, they both do pretty much the same thing, only differently. But the differences are such that using both is a positive thing to do. So, the answer, quite simply, is yes.

The information stored on an encrypted USB drive is basically a mirror of the files that are on your personal or company Cloud. The difference is with the encrypted USB drive when you are away from home or the office; you don't have to risk logging into your company's Cloud using the local coffee shop, bistro, or bodega's Wi-Fi – or any other unknown Wi-Fi that could compromise both your data and your boss'.

It’s a fact of life that you can be hacked simply by trying to access your VPN using Wi-Fi other than yours or the company for whom you work. When a company mandates Cloud usage, they don't necessarily control where you access it from, making your computer or laptop, basically, a sitting duck for hackers. However, an encrypted USB drive loaded with your files is like having the Cloud continuously at your side, only it doesn't require Wi-Fi to access.

The Cloud is not under your control. And there is always fear, uncertainty, and doubt when accessing it. It's all about how and who set up it up. Hackers can keep attacking files in the Cloud, as no limits on attempts of a password are needed or set.

USB encryption can be done either through the device's hardware or via software. Hardware-centric, software-free encryption is the most effective means to provide protection from cyberattacks. It’s an excellent, non-complicated, solution to protecting against data breaches, which should be comforting to both you and your boss.

These hardware-based encrypted devices meet tough security standards and offer the ultimate security in data protection to confidently manage threats and reduce risks. They are self-contained and do not require a software element on the host computer. No software vulnerability also eliminates the possibility of brute-force, sniffing, and memory hash attacks.

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard.

What should users look for in a hardware-encrypted USB drive to use with or in place of cloud storage?

  • An alphanumeric keypad that locks the drive with a word or number combination of your choosing for easy-to-use PIN protection is a great option for most users.
  • Operating-system independence makes a drive a very versatile consumer solution, as there are so many choices these days when it comes to PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Look for hardware-based Full Disk AES 256-bit data encryption in XTS mode, where the encryption is done on the drive, leaving no trace of your PIN on the system. It provides a level of security that the federal government and other such organizations around the world have adopted.
  • FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification to meet a frequently requested corporate IT requirement.
  • USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port compatibly, which includes virtually all late-model digital devices.
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology, which means you will not compromise transfer speeds for security.
  • Secure USB functionality with smartphone or tablet compatibility using the proper dongle accessory for USB-A or USB-C to A adapter if you use an Android.
  • The USB drive lockdowns after 10 failed login attempts, requiring it be reformatted.
  • Always use complex password protection with minimum characters to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Customization options to meet internal corporate IT requirements.
  • FIPS 197 certification and TAA compliance to meet frequently requested corporate and government IT requirements.
  • Automatic data back-up to Google Drive™, OneDrive (Microsoft®), Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, or Box. Using both an encrypted USB drive and the Cloud to store data is a good safety net. If the drive is lost or stolen, your data is still in a safe place, and if you don't have safe access to the Internet, you still have the data on the drive.
  • A drive that has a durable metal casing to protect it from drops, bumps, and knocks.

Any combination of the above features will ensure peace of mind that your company data is safe when unable to access the Cloud when working outside of a firewall available at home or in office.

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