Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bringing secure workspaces to USBs

Kingston Digital has successfully applied its pedigree in flash memory products to become one of the leading suppliers of cryptographically secure USB devices. Its DataTraveler product line starts at a basic personal-use level, and then extends up to a full FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified device. Each release of a USB device undergoes third party security penetration testing to help ferret out vulnerabilities before customer deployment.

The real thing I like, and yes I have yet again buried the lede, is Kingston’s partnership with Microsoft to put a manageable Windows To Go on a USB. This is a pretty cool evolution. I’ve always been a big fan of a secure workspace solution on a USB for remote access – operating system, VPN client, storage, and authentication – such as Check Point GO or the Imation IronKey offering. This new capability with Microsoft has the potential to cut IT support costs for mobile workforces and give IT choices in a Windows deployment models.

One of the big hurdles with secure workspaces is phoning home for software updates and configuration changes. MokaFive was an early pioneer in the use of the cloud to update virtual images. With the Microsoft partnership I expect Kingston to offer management through Active Directory services. Perhaps integrating with VDI in a box products from folks like Citrix VDI in a Box, Pano Logic Quickstart or VMware View will give USB form factors more traction in small and medium businesses – we’ll see! But for now I like the evolution of virtual workspaces from solving remote access security requirements to reducing desktop support costs.

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