November 13 2011
I like to imagine trying to explain the jobs many of us do today to someone from 50 or 100 years ago. Or to my 84-year-old mother-in-law. Web designer, social media consultant and online forum moderator, for example, rate as three of the least arcane job descriptions around; it wouldn’t take any of us more than a nanosecond to understand them. And yet I’ll wager you could spend an hour trying to describe these to a techie from 1911 without making a breakthrough.
This thought came to mind when reading the press release for this, the Ironkey Personal USB, one of the B2B-est, boring-but-importantest gadgets you’re likely to see. “You see, Granddad, all user data is encrypted with AES CBC-mode hardware encryption. Unlike software-based encryption, this ‘always-on’ protection cannot be disabled. The IronKey Cryptochip does not export AES encryption keys to the host PC, thereby protecting against cold-boot and malware attacks.”
Impenetrable as the product spec may be, the Ironkey is a superb USB stick if your data is worth gazillions in the wrong hands. Its hardware-based security is uncrackable, and if anyone tries to guess your password and access the stuff on the Ironkey it will effectively self-destruct.