Provides secure, portable data solution.
I deal with a large amount of sensitive information in my work in computer security and forensics. So, I often have the need to work with encrypted partitions on my work computers and sometimes fully encrypt thumb drives and external hard drives to ensure that no client data could be recovered if the drive was lost or stolen.
The process can often be frustrating because each operating system has a number of different tools both paid and free that will work. There are cross platform solutions, but they are often complicated to setup and maintain and they are not easily portable between multiple users. This is particularly problematic when providing evidence to my clients from a computer forensic examination. I sometimes need a small storage device that can be handed to an attorney or messenger that also protects the data on it and of course it must be easy to use for nontechnical people. This has always been a tall order and many times, my solution is simply to travel to my client’s office, unlock and copy the data myself. I was excited to try out the FahanTech 2.5 Inch SATA Enclosure to see if it’s on board 256-bit encryption would fit this usage case.
This drive enclosure looks slick and feels well made. The buttons are flush with the enclosure and the shiny metallic back gives this case a polished look. There is also a small LCD screen that provides information related to the encryption functions that are built into the device. The LCD has a nice crisp blue font that is easy to read. For long messages, they scroll across the screen and repeat.
Setup was easy on my Mac, but this drive should pair as well with a Windows or Linux computer because all of the encryption is handled on the device. In my case, I answered yes to using encryption on the initial setup and selected a pass code. The codes are numerical only which you enter on the keypad and can be from 4-8 characters in length. Once the code was confirmed, the drive was mounted on my Mac and I was asked by OS X to initialize it. I then formatted it and copied some sample files to it.
Usage and Testing
Using the drive is easy. If you like, you can treat it just like any other external drive and eject it when you are done working with it. Once this happens, the drive is encrypted until it is reactivated and the passcode is entered. You can also choose to push the padlock icon on the drive to lock it. You will not be able to use the drive again until you enter the correct code. To test the encryption, I removed the drive from the enclosure and attached it to a normal USB 3.0 drive mounting kit. My Mac asked me to initialize the drive thinking that it was not setup because the data was encrypted by the FahanTech case.
This enclosure is nice because it offers a fair amount of data protection at a very affordable price point. In my tests, the drive performed as advertised and was as responsive as a “normal” external drive. It is important to point out the the manufacturer recommends using this enclosure as a backup drive rather than primary storage due to the fact that all of your data would be permanently lost in the event of a hardware failure on the device/hard drive or in the event that you forget the assigned passcode.
For more information, visit http://www.fahantech.com.
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