Portable drive gets PIN security touchscreen

Connect the drive to a PC without entering the PIN code, and it won't be recognized

A Japanese company has taken a leaf from bank ATM security by launching a portable hard drive that comes with its own built-in PIN keypad.

The USB-based EZSecu EZ850 is an enclosure based around a normal 2.5 inch SATA drive of the type familiar to any laptop user, but up close it looks more like portable safe than a hard disk. One side of the unit is dominated by a touchscreen, on which users have to enter a PIN code of up to six characters from a keypad of nine digits plus zero.

Connect the drive to a PC without entering the PIN code, and it won't be recognized.

It is not known if its Japanese distributors -- the company has the rather offputting name Digital Cowboy -- will make the EZ850 available outside Japan, though the westernized branding name suggests that they might. The drive is reported to cost US$140, and is nearly to a nearly identical drive from Korean company IOTEK that appeared last November without apparently going on sale.

It is also unclear whether the drive security could be bypassed by removing the drive from the enclosure and simply reading it through a system with no PIN interface. It is likely that it uses some form of encryption to make the drive unreadable when removed from the enclosure.

Storage vendors have started coming up with a variety of ways to secure portable storage, ranging from built-in data encryption to PIN entry on USB flash drives. Fingerprint readers have also been used.

The advantages of PINs are their simplicity, and the fact that the drive carries everything around needed to secure it with no need for additional software. Others will argue that full-drive encryption with software access is probably just as practical for business users.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?