Kingston’s latest encrypted external SSD is designed to be as friendly for consumers to use as it is devilish for hackers to try and crack. The new Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80 External SSD VP80ES unlocks like a smartphone, with its intuitive touchscreen, and then enables simple drag-and-drop file transfers. Meanwhile, hackers face a FIPS 197 certified OS-independent device which safeguards against Brute Force attacks and BadUSB with digitally-signed firmware and XTS-AES 256-bit encryption.
Many storage devices you can buy nowadays come with some kind of encryption tools bundled, or if not you can use BitLocker (might be an extra to pay for depending on your version of Windows). However, some of the software is OS specific, or it will require you complete a number of preparatory tasks some users will be tempted to put off until ‘later’. Kingston reckons its IronKey Vault Privacy 80 External SSD VP80ES addresses all these weaknesses, and is a friction free alternative to secure data storage needs for any platform.
The first thing you will notice about the VP80ES is its handy compact shape is dominated by a color touch screen on one side. You will mostly be interacting with the touch screen to unlock the drive after plugging it into your computer or other smart device. In many of the pictures you can see a numpad for inputting a passcode or PIN. You can flip to text input to use a password or phrase instead (6-64 characters). As well as unlocking the device you will use the touchscreen for setup / configuration, and it will display useful status messages.
Some specifics about passcode and passphrase access provided by Kingston include the fact that there are multi-level password options. Specifically, you can set up admin and user passwords. It has an option to respond to brute-force attacks by crypto-erasing the drive “if the Admin and User passwords are entered incorrectly 15 times.” Users can set this data destruction to kick in at their own choice of between 10 and 30 wrong password attempts.
The drive is similarly protected against USB firmware shenanigans. The publicity materials for the VP80ES mention it is protected against BadUSB, which is a computer security attack…