Imation launches broad line of secure removable storage devices

New products include a range of encryption and security management tools and have all undergone FIPS validation for regulatory compliance

Removable storage vendor Imation today announced a new line of products ranging from hard drives and flash drives to Blu-ray Discs and removable tape cartridges, all with a range of encryption and security management tools.

Imation's new Defender Collection consists of seven products including four flash drives, two hard drives, and an optical line of disc drives.

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All have varying levels of Federal Information Processing Standardization 140 (FIPS) certification, according to, according to Jason Elles, Imation's global brand manager.

More secure products are expected later this year or next including secure solid state drives and Imation's current line of RDX-series removable hard disk drives that will have new security and management features, Elles said.

Keith Schwartz, a director at Imation, said the company has never released this breadth of products, or any products with such high-level encryption and remote management features.

"Obviously we've always had optical and flash products and hard-disk drives, but we've never had products that have had the authentication levels we're talking about, never had products that had anti-virus , never had products with central management and never had products that were validated at a FIPS level," he said.

The Defender products, all based on existing Imation hardware, include new security and management features that came as a result of recent partnerships between Imation and MXI Security, a managed portable security vender, and Encryptx, a data security and policy control and management vendor.

All of the Defender series products have varying levels of security, based on MXI Security's firmware for user authentication, digital rights management and data encryption, including MXI's Bluefly Processor. Imation is using Encryptx's EncryptDisc AES 256-bit encryption and burning technology for its line of secure, printable optical media, including CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

The company said the new products are aimed at enterprises in the financial services industry, the government and military, as well as some small business sectors and professional consumers. They are also being targeted at more than 100 countries around the world where Imation has its sales offices.

"The need for data security continues to increase among corporations and consumers," Liz Conner, Senior Research Analyst at IDC, said in a statement.

Imation's new products also include Imation's DataGuard rf Tape Tracking System, DataGuard Transportation and Storage Cases, SecureScan for LTO tape cartridges and DataGuard GPS (currently only available in Europe.)

The rf tracking system products deploy an RFID chip that not only allows tape cartridges and their packaging cases to be read scanned into local databases but also tracked by GPS in order to pinpoint their location during offsite transit.

Imation's products include the Defender Software Suite, which allows storage administrators to protect the hardware using Malware AntiVirus Scanning along with central device management. The suite includes Access Standard, Access Enterprise and Access Identity.

The new removable storage products include:

The Defender Optical is a self-encrypting, self-burning line of CD-R, DVD-r, DVD+R and Blu-ray disk drives that offer password authentication, an integrated password recovery option and are FIPS 140-2 Level 1 validated. The discs have a suggested retail price of $2.10 for CD, $2.50 for DVD and $7.50 for Blu-ray.

The Defender F50 Pivot flash drive.

The Defender F50 Pivot flash drive has onboard anti-virus software and optional software-based encryption key management capabilities. The drive's being aimed at the medical industry, where IT managers want encryption, but don't need FIPS Level 3 validation, according to Elles. The drive comes with optional central management software and is validated for FIPS level 1, and comes in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities. The price of the F50 is still to be determined.

The Defender F100 flash drive.

The Defender F100 and F150 flash drives have hardware-based encryption and are FIPS Level 3 certified. The drives come in waterproof and dustproof enclosures. The F100 has a plastic casing and the F150 has a metal enclosure. Both drives come with optional antivirus and central management software and have capacities ranging from 1GB to 32GB. The suggested retail prices for the F100 and F150 range from $54 to $299 based on capacity.

The Defender F200 biometric flash drive.

The Defender F200 is a biometric flash drive with hardware-based encryption that is awaiting FIPS level 3 validation and is aimed at preventing PC-based attacks with its two-factor authentication -- password and biometric authentication capabilities. It features an ergonomic biometric swipe sensor with hardware-based matching along with a tamper-resistant metal enclosure. Antivirus and central management software are optional. The drive comes in capacities ranging from 1GB to 32GB and has a suggested retail price of $99 to $349 based on its capacity.

The Defender H200 external hard drive.

The Defender H100 and H200 are external hard drives. The H100 offers password authentication. The H200 features password authentication and a biometric fingerprint swipe pad. The drives both have hardware-based encryption and come in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities. Both have optional antivirus software, central management software and are pending FIPS Level 3 validation. The suggested retail price is still to be determined.

All of the products are expected to be generally available this month or next.

In the future, Imation will release the Defender F175 Pivot, a flash drive in a metal casing, with FIPS level 3 validation, as well as a secure bootable flash drive with Windows or Linux OS.

"So having a complete secure laptop on a stick for corporations who want to ensure someone working remotely has got a secure desktop they can put in an untrusted host," Schwartz said. "I think you'll see us coming out with additional unique and differentiated products."

Schwartz also alluded to future products having enhanced features including RSA soft tokens, digital certificates and integrated SmartCard technology.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld . Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage hardware in Computerworld's Storage Hardware Knowledge Center.

This story, "Imation launches broad line of secure removable storage devices" was originally published by Computerworld .

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