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ITS Safe Computing

Use Encrypted Thumb Drives

Note: It is best not to store sensitive university data on a thumb/flash drive. The risk of loss is too great, and there are several secure cloud-based options that are preferable. For departments, the difficulty of controlling distribution and the updating and retrieval of authoritative copies of institutional data makes their use problematic. See the Sensitive Data Guide for help identifying the right storage location for your sensitive data.

If you need to store data on a USB flash drive, purchase one that has encryption software that is already built-in. As of February 2014, vendors such as Kanguru, Lexar, Imation, Kingston, and SanDisk say they offer USB thumb drives with encryption support either built in to the hardware or available via software that is pre-installed on the thumb drive.

Note: IIA has not evaluated these vendors and cannot confirm their claims regarding encryption capabilities.