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Best way to secure a Lexar 32 Gig jump drive

Posted on 2015-01-12
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Last Modified: 2015-01-17
I'd like to install a solid app that secures my jump drive so it requests a password before accessing the drive. It has to act independently regardless of where I plug it in. I could need it on my Win 7 laptop, a client's Win7 or Win 8 device or possibly an XP box that might need help.  If you have an app that you use every day to secure a flash drive, let me know. I don’t want to use an unproven app.

I purchased a few Lexar flash drives without thinking about security. Now I would like to secure them. I left one at a client that had some sensitive files on it and it disappeared.  I’m evaluating the best way to stop that from happening again too.
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Question by:Tony Giangreco
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12 Comments
 
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Trenton Knew earned 500 total points
ID: 40544850
Overkill would have been to get ironkey drives from the start.

that said, however, You can use bitlocker on the flash drive.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ff404223.aspx
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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 1000 total points
ID: 40544902
If you used Bitlocker, you would limit yourself to OS' that understand Bitlocker. xp would need to have the Bitlocker reader installed, as well as vista. And nevertheless, both would not give you writing support, just reading.
Get a sandisk jumpdrive, they offer a freeware that works on all OS' (all windows, even MAC, but not Linux).
Or use this true cross platform, cross device freeware http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.withopf.com%2Ft
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LVL 25

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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40544916
Hi McKnife & Trenton,

Thanks for the suggestions.

McKnife: That link is is broken. Please check it.
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by:McKnife
ID: 40544923
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by:Trenton Knew
ID: 40545022
I've seen two articles now that suggest opensource truecrypt as a feasible multi-platform USB encryption method.

http://deliverator.silverfir.net/?p=636

http://www.dirtdon.com/?p=34
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LVL 9

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by:Trenton Knew
ID: 40545024
apparently, it has some security issues though :(
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40545037
Hi McKnife,

That site comes up in German and there is an error when translating it to English so I will need to take a pass on that one.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 40545044
Depends on how secure we're talking, if you want AES at NSA standards then yes Truecrypt has a big hole in it.

You also need to consider the permissions on machines the sticks get plugged into.
Lexar (and other manufacturers) offer their own encryption software but this is no help if you plug into a device that is locked down preventing installation of this.

Ironkey mentioned above have hardware encryption which runs indepedently of the host PC and their prices have fallen dramatically in the past year.

As you've already bought the Jump Drives though try Lexar's own offering which works fine as long as the host machine allows it to run.
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LVL 56

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by:McKnife
ID: 40545098
Sorry, the securstick one needs to be tried... it's the only one I've seen so far that is truly cross platform, no admin rights needed (as with truecrypt) and free. Download it, put the unzipped securstick.exe on your jumpdrive, start it, that's all. It's interface is in English, even. Self explanatory. http://www.withopf.com/tools/securstick/SecurStick-1016.zip
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by:nobus
ID: 40546078
you can always zip the drive, and put a password on it
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LVL 56

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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 1000 total points
ID: 40546289
Last word on the securstick one, since I looked into it again today: we have been using it with windows vista. With Win7 and above, microsoft has changed the service configuration of a needed component, the service named web client. It will not work out of the box on 7/8.x unless you set the startup type of that service to automatic.
That is critical because modifying that requires admin rights, something you might not have anywhere.

So my recommendation for a cheap solution is
-sandisk jump drives (prices start at less than 10 USD for 8 GBs) together with this software http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2399 - it's free software for sandisk users and features AES 128 Bit encryption.
-if that is not what you want, or you consider 128 Bit to weak, use the aforementioned hardware based solutions.
Using a zipped solution is also a nice thing, 7zip allows editing inside the archive (.7z), even, maybe others allow it, too.
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LVL 56

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by:McKnife
ID: 40555071
It would be interesting to know what you finally decided to do, Keep up the feedback.
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