Model: SecureUSB KP Encrypted Flash Drive
Provided By: SecureData
SecureData is a worldwide leader in hardware encrypted storage and data services. Founded in California, USA in 2007, this privately held company pioneered many of the data recovery techniques currently used throughout the industry before expanding into e-discovery and forensics services. Today, the company offers a range of high-level data protection capabilities including hardware encrypted portable data storage devices, backup solutions, file repair software, data recovery and digital forensics services to help clients achieve their security objectives.
In addition to their line of secure, wireless storage devices, SecureData offers a number of more traditional models like the SecureUSB KP. Available in capacities ranging from 4GB up to 128GB, this USB flash drive features a FIPS validated design with military-grade AES 256-bit XTS encryption. Instead of an app on a mobile device though, the data on the drive is unlocked when a user enters their PIN via its onboard keypad. The SecureUSB KP is also equipped with a rugged, extruded aluminum casing that protects it against dust, water and physical damage as well as a USB 3.0 interface capable of delivering up to 152 MB/s read and 118 MB/s write speeds.
With specs and features like this, it's hard not to be impressed by the SecureUSB KP. However, as you all know by now, we're not ones to take things at face value. In this review, we'll take a closer look at SecureData's encrypted USB flash drive and then put it through its paces to see how well it performs. Does the SecureUSB JP have what it takes? Keep reading as we find out.
The SecureUSB KP comes packaged in a plastic clamshell that gives you a clear view of the drive. The packaging also advertises many of the drive's key features including its 32GB capacity, automatic backup and antivirus, FIPS compliance, alpha numeric keypad and 3 year warranty. Inside, you'll find the SecureUSB KP, a protective sleeve and a quick start guide.
The SecureUSB KP measures 65 x 20 x 10 mm and tips the scales at 14g without the sleeve. While this is a bit on the large side for a flash drive, its hardware encryption engine, physical protection mechanisms, built-in battery and keypad account for most of the extra bulk and weight.
While the ends of the SecureUSB KP are plastic, the body is constructed out of aluminum. For the keypad, SecureData has used some sort of rubbery material that is wear resistant to prevent unauthorized persons from seeing commonly used numbers. Above the keypad, there is also a small LED panel that shows the status of the drive. These indicators will light up solid or blink to indicate whether the drive is locked, unlocked or transferring data.
The SecureUSB KP comes with a rugged, extruded aluminum sleeve that protects the body of the drive from physical damage as well as dust and water to depths up to 1 meter.
The SecureUSB KP's internal components are protected by an epoxy compound so I wasn't able to crack it open. However, using Flash Drive Information Extractor, I could see that the drive uses Phison's PS2313 controller. Unfortunately, the app was not able to identify the memory chips being used.
The SecureUSB KP has been designed to be easy to use. The drive is compatible with all operating systems and can be set up and operated without any sort of software. Everything is done using the keypad and the LED panel on the top of the device.
Thanks to its built in battery, you can unlock and configure the SecureUSB KP without having to plug it into your computer first. To unlock the device, press the bottom button with the key on it, enter the User PIN and then press the key button two more times. If all goes well, the LED panel on the top will go from the red, locked icon to the green, unlocked one. Once unlocked, you will have 30 seconds to insert the drive into an available USB port. To lock it again, simply remove it from your computer.
The SecureUSB KP can also be put into "Admin Mode." This mode is especially useful for corporate deployment and it can be used to ensure policy. From here, you can create a new User PIN, enable read-only mode and set the auto-lock clock. The Admin PIN can be also be used to override any of the User settings.
To keep people from guessing your PIN, the SecureUSB KP utilizes a brute force hack defense mechanism. If someone enters an incorrect User PIN ten consecutive times, regardless of the time intervals in-between attempts, the device’s brute force detection will trigger and the User PIN will be deleted. All data remains on the drive and can be accessed by the Admin after entering the correct Admin PIN.
The device’s brute force detection will also be triggered if someone enters an incorrect Admin PIN ten consecutive times. However, in this case, both the User and Admin PINs and the encryption key will be deleted and all data will become inaccessible and lost forever. The drive will need to be formatted before it can be reused.
The test system used in this review is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU, GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-UD3 motherboard, 32GB (16GB x 2) of Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 memory, Samsung 960 PRO 512GB SSD, GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 and a WINDFORCE OC 6G graphics card. For the operating system, I installed Windows 10 Enterprise.
To test the performance of the SecureUSB KP flash drive, I ran a series of benchmarks using CrystalDiskMark, HD Tach RW and ATTO Disk Benchmark. To get a feel for the "real world" performance, I also copied and pasted 1GB of random files and directories as well as a single 4GB ISO file in Windows Explorer.
First, I ran a few quick tests using CrystalDiskMark. This benchmark tool measures the performance of a storage device by testing its sequential read and write speeds as well as its random read and write speeds using blocks 512K and 4K in size.
According to SecureData, the SecureDrive KP is capable of reading at 152 MB/s and writing at 118 MB/s when connected to a USB 3.0 port. While that may be the case with the 64GB or 128GB models, the 32GB drive was able to read at 132.7 MB/s and write at 50.72 MB/s when tested with CrystalDiskMark.
HD Tach RW 126.96.36.199:
Next, I used HD Tach to test the SecureUSB KP's read, write and burst speeds as well as its seek times and CPU usage.
The performance here was very similar to what we saw with CrystalDiskMark. When connected to the computer's USB 3.0 port, the drive had average read and write speeds of 126.3 MB/s and 50.5 MB/s, respectively, as well as a burst speed of 155.2 MB/s.
ATTO Disk Benchmark 2.46:
I also used ATTO Disk Benchmark to test the SecureUSB KP's sequential read and write speeds. The test was run using blocks ranging in size from 0.5KB to 8192KB and the total length set to 256MB.
When tested with ATTO, the SecureUSB KP's read speeds topped out at about 157 MB/s and its write speeds at 50 MB/s.
"Real World" Benchmark:
To test the "real world" performance of the SecureUSB KP, I copied and pasted 1GB worth of randomly generated files and directories. All of the files are between 1KB and 95MB in size and no more than five directories deep. To see how well the drive handled large files, I also copied and pasted a 4GB ISO file.
|1GB of Files||4GB ISO File|
|Read:||10 seconds||28 seconds|
The SecureUSB KP performed fairly well here, taking 26 seconds to write 1GB worth of test data and 10 seconds to read it back.
The SecureUSB KP is an excellent solution for the security conscious consumer or the corporate IT department looking to keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands. Available in a number of different capacities, this USB flash drive features a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated design, military grade full disk 256-bit AES hardware encryption and a rugged, extruded aluminum casing that protects it against dust, water and physical damage. More importantly though, the SecureUSB KP is very easy to use. To access your data, simply enter your PIN using the drive's wear-resistant keypad and plug it into any computer or mobile device with a USB port.
When it comes to performance, the SecureUSB KP did relatively well in our tests. With all of the encryption being done at the hardware level, I found it to be just as fast as a non-encrypted flash drive. Thanks to its USB 3.0 interface, the SecureUSB KP was able to read at speeds as high as 132 MB/s and write at more than 50 MB/s. The drive is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0. However, as you'd expect, it's much slower when operating in this mode.
The SecureUSB KP is available now in 8GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities and can be purchased directly from SecureDrive or through some of the sellers listed on Amazon.com. Prices currently range from $79 up to $159, with the 32GB version reviewed here retailing for about $129.
- User authentication via on-board keypad
- FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated
- Military-grade AES 256-bit XTS hardware encryption
- Good read and write speeds
- Brute force anti-hacking self destruct feature
- OS and platform independent
- Dust and water resistant
- Built-in battery for convenient pre-plug PIN entry
- USB 3.0 interface
- 3 year warranty
- Slightly larger and heavier than non-encrypted flash drives