How to protect your data, part two

Yesterday we looked at software solutions for data protection. Today we’ll look at hardware solutions. There are too many to list, but following are some of my favorites.

WD’s My Passport Slim line of portable hard drives offer up to 2TB capacity, a metal enclosure, and 256-bit hardware-based encryption. The included WD SmartWare Pro data protection software allows users to back up their data to their My Passport Slim and keep an extra copy in their Dropbox account. The software also lets users back up their Dropbox account to the My Passport Slim. The My Passport Slim 1TB has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $99.99; the 2TB model is $149.99 (or $129.95 through this affiliate link).

LaCie's Rugged hard drive comes with included software that protects files from prying eyes with AES 256-bit encryption. Pricing starts at $219 for a 1TB version (a USB 3.0 version is available for $109.99 through this affiliate link).

Kingston Digital offers the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 secure USB Flash drive, as well as the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 Anti-Virus . They’re designed to help enterprises safeguard business data and set security policies for end-users.

The DTVP 3.0 provides hardware-based encryption of confidential information and is also available separately with ClevX DriveSecurity anti-virus protection. The anti-virus engine utilizes ESET’s NOD 32 technology, which is designed to protect corporate end-users wherever they work or plug in. The DTVP 3.0 is available in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions. Prices range from US$40 to $355, and a 32GB version is available for just $89.94 through this affiliate link.

Addonics Technologies’ Secure NAS series of storage appliances combines the benefits of RAID, Network Attached Storage (NAS), Direct Attached Storage (DAS) and hardware AES 256-bit encryption in one enclosure. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the Secure NAS R5 is US$499. Go here for more info.

KoolSpan offers theTrustChip for the iPhone. It fits into custom-designed TrustSleeve for the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and 5s. The downside is that there’s not yet support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The TrustChip acts as an adaptor between the TrustChip and the iPhone and sports a separate 1200 mAh battery pack. This provides users with extended battery life of up to 12 hours of talk or 13.5 hours of Internet use.

With the TrustSleeve attached, users can place mutually authenticated and fully encrypted phone calls with KoolSpan’s TrustCall application. TrustCall is a voice application based on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. The TrustChip can be removed from one device and placed in another — transferring mobile security from phone to phone. Or it can be bound to a single device, rendering it unusable on any other. Go here for more info and pricing.

As for Apple and security, last July Apple started encrypting email traffic between iCloud and third-party services, according to data from a Google transparency web site. This includes messages from older and accounts.

According to Apple: “iCloud secures your data by encrypting it when it’s sent over the Internet, storing it in an encrypted format when kept on server (review the table below for detail), and using secure tokens for authentication. This means that your data is protected from unauthorized access both while it is being transmitted to your devices and when it is stored in the cloud. iCloud uses a minimum of 128-bit AES encryption—the same level of security employed by major financial institutions—and never provides encryption keys to any third parties.”

Your Mac and iOS devices are pretty darn safe right out of the box. But it doesn’t hurt to take extra precautions. There are many more hardware and software solutions for Apple products, but this guide should get you started finding the solution that’s best for you.