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6/24/2010
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The Ultimate In Mobile Storage Security

Mobile storage is a double-edged sword. Most small businesses can't work without the ability to take sensitive customer data outside the office from time to time.

Mobile storage is a double-edged sword. Most small businesses can't work without the ability to take sensitive customer data outside the office from time to time.If you lose that data, however, you've got trouble. Big trouble. You'll have to answer to your customers, and you might also have to answer to the government.

Encryption is always your first, and usually best, line of defense against this kind of problem. A lot of companies can settle for "good enough" encryption, using free tools like TrueCrypt. But if you absolutely, positively have to protect business data against any conceivable attack, a company named Rocstor is worth a closer look.

Rocstor sells a number of encrypted drive enclosures. But its Rocsafe MX Mobile enclosure just might be the best of its type at any price.

The Rocsafe uses a hardware-based encryption device that is actually a part of the drive enclosure. That gives you two big advantages: The encryption travels with the drive, and it doesn't require you to install anything on a connected laptop or desktop PC.

Better yet, the Rocsafe protects data using two-factor authentication. Simply put, this requires users to access the data using "something they know" (a PIN code) as well as "something they have" (a smartcard that inserts into the enclosure).

It's an elegant solution that provides a lot of security. An attacker would need both the PIN and the smartcard to access the device, and it also protects against password-sniffing malware that might find its way onto a PC. Combine this with strong, military-grade encryption, and you have the closest thing to perfect security that you're likely to find on a drive enclosure.

(This isn't the same thing as perfect security, of course. There's no such thing, and realizing that is vital to protecting any sensitive data.)

If your SMB works in a regulated industry like health care or financial services, a device like the Rocsafe will go a long way towards ensuring that your data-security practices are compliant. But given the growing number of state and federal regulations that dictate how companies must protect customer data -- and what they have to do if unprotected data is leaked -- it's a tool any small business might want to consider using.

Don't Miss: NEW! Storage How-To Center

This level of security won't come cheap; the 320GB version of the Rocsafe MX retails at over $550 (including the drive), and the 640GB will cost over $650. But if your employees routinely travel with data you simply can't afford to lose, it might be a bargain even at these prices.

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