The cool and new products online are all cloud-based. These are great from a convenience standpoint because it’s so easy to access your data from anywhere. However, storing your data in the cloud means you have to trust the provider to not log or monitor your data, and trust their system to actually keep your data secure. Moving your files offline and onto an encrypted harddrive is a much more secure way to protect your information.
These hardware companies are making data security more convenient with their awesome products.
Apricorn is a designer and manufacturer of computer storage products, utilities and accessories. It provides external storage hardware with 256-bit encryption specifically for companies and organizations that need high-level data security (finance, healthcare, education, etc.).
Because Apricorn’s external storage products are secured with their own onboard keyboard, combined with other traditional security protection measures, there is no software involvement in critical security parameters.
Apricorn’s unique method of protecting users’ information eliminates some of the most commonly exploited entrances into a computer system. All of Apricorn’s storage devices use multiple layers of security to protect the contents of the devices. For example, the devices include auto locking funcitonality, self-erasing and read-only modes.
Bitdefender BOX is a tool that lets you control what level of security you want to assign to each smart home or IoT device connected to your network. It makes securing these devices simple and easy. You can view a list of your devices and apply security rules to each of them.
As people continue to bring more connected devices into their homes, the opportunity for a hack or data breach grows substantially. BitDefender BOX helps protect your devices from malware, stolen passwords, and identity theft.
Another useful feature of the Bitdefender BOX is the parental control functionality. It can even offer digital protection from cyberbullying and online predators. If enabled, BOX will notify you if it detects verbal attacks, aggressive language or encouraging of inappropriate behaviors.
Purism is a security focused computer manufacturer based in San Francisco. Purism began in 2014 with the goal of combining the Free Software movement with the hardware manufacturing process to give people computers they can trust and feel safe using. Its product line consists of security and privacy focused smartphones, laptops and a USB based security token.
Along with its security focused hardware, Purism also makes its own Linux derived operating system, PureOS. PureOS makes it much easier to surf the web safely by making it harder for websites to track you.
“Purism’s Librem, which is a combined latin word meaning “freedom book” is a line of computer hardware and bundled software funded entirely by the people, for the people. Our ultimate goal at Purism is to facilitate the wisdom and resources of the crowd to co-create a new kind of computer company where core values of freedom, privacy, and security, improve the world for the better.” – Todd Weaver (CEO), 2015
Helm is a secure personal server that makes it easier to protect your emails and other data online. Helm lets you set up your own email in just a few minutes with a custom domain that will work on all your devices. It ships with 128 GB of solid state storage, and can be expanded with external storage.
In comparison to popular cloud-based email storage services, Helm offers more storage and more security.
Helm has plans in the works to add a file storage product, VPN and messaging services. Helm’s email server is made with privacy by design, so each step of the design process had privacy in mind.
Kingston Technology is one of the leaders in the development and manufacturing of flash memory, and other memory-related products.
While using USB flash drives to transfer sensitive data can be more secure than using cloud-based storage, they also present unique risks. If someone loses their unencrypted flash drive then their files can easily fall into the wrong hands.
SecureDrive offers encrypted external storage. It began as a data recovery service provider, and after gaining trust in that industry they moved into hardware storage and encryption. Similar to Kingston Technology and Apricorn’s devices, SecureDrive uses onboard keypads for one method of user authentication.
SecureDrive’s products use some pretty unique approaches to protect your data stored on their products. On the keypads, they use a special coating which masks key usage so that it isn’t obvious which keys are included in your passcode. Its drivers work on any host operating system so you aren’t limited to certain devices. SecureDrive uses AES encryption with XTS block cipher mode. It avoids weaknesses associated with older AES modes.
Winston Privacy is a new player in the security hardware space. Its founders saw the issues with the surveillance economy that is taking over the internet. Winston is a hardware device that runs inline with your router and as a result protects every device on your WiFi. It offers similar functionality to a VPN without having to trust the VPN provider with your browsing data. It’s is essentially a distributed, decentralized platform with no logging.
Winston actually makes your browsing experience faster by blocking ads and other unnecessary tracking code. While VPNs are associated with slower connection speeds, Winston can speed up your browsing.
Winston is currently in a pilot program, as the product is still in pre-production.
Yubico offers hardware-based encryption and authentication solutions. Its most notable product is its YubiKey authentication devices. They look like flash drives and work as an alternative to traditional username/password logins. The YubiKey devices are multi-protocol security keys that make logging in more secure and convenient.
The actual key devices are waterproof and crush resistant and support most major services, including Facebook and Gmail. They offer enterprise level security suited for government and other regulated industries.
Why Should You Use Cyber Security Hardware
If you are trying to secure the contents of your device’s hard drive, you generally rely on the devices operating system. Depending on your operating system, there are different authentication measures, drive encryption and secure login types. However, relying on your operating system to protect your sensitive data isn’t enough if you truly want to keep your files private. If there is a breach into your operating system (macOS or Windows for example) your files could be compromised. If you’re using an encrypted hard drive, your files will be safe despite someone hacking into your device.
Another reason to use cybersecurity hardware is to secure your Wi-Fi network. If you’re connecting to the internet, you’re opening up your devices to even more security threats. If you’re using the network hardware that your ISP provides, you’re basically letting your ISP monitor all of your browsing. Security and privacy-based hardware, like routers and modems, helps to secure your internet connection.