Needing hard drive encryption

Software / Technology

Needing hard drive encryption

A review by Nicholas Newman


Introducing the new diskAshur 2017 range

Protecting your data against unauthorised access is for some an important requirement, especially amongst businesses, universities, and government agencies. All too often, we have heard about laptops left on a train with vital commercial secrets. To stop this companies like iStorage have come up with portable encrypted data storage devices for storing their data on the go.


Here is a look at their latest iStorage diskAshur² 256 bit 500 GB, what is clear is that is designed for meeting a wide range of portable security needs from the traveling journalist to major organisations such as hospital needing secure portable backup devices to protect their patients’ details.


In terms of capacity, the iStorage comes in a range of sizes from 128GB to 2TB, so ideal for data hungry journalists backing up their cameras and laptops on the go.


The device iStorage sent me was the diskAshur² 256-bit 500 GB encrypted portable hard drive. Oh, by the way, it comes in Ocean Blue, but it is also available in other colours such as Phantom Black, Fiery Red, and Racing Green. Therefore, you are spoilt for choice!


However, I did appreciate that diskAshur² surfaces, it consists of an ultra-smooth fascia that doubles up as shock absorbers, is water and dust resistant. It also features an integrated cable, which can be conveniently stored away when not in use.



DiskAshur² 256-bit 500 GB, has a wear Resistant Epoxy Coated Keypad, which makes it easy to read and operate for someone like me with less than perfect eyesight! Also, in terms of protection in mind, the diskAshur² 256-bit 500 GB uses a wear resistant epoxy coated keypad which hides key usage to avoid tipping off a potential hacker to commonly used keys.


Quick Start Guide

What is good about the iStorage quick start guide, is has been written for non-technical people like me. IT is simple and easy to understand and use instructions about how to set it up, use it the first time, change the Admin Pin etc. It is also available in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. However, it would be useful if there were a link to iStorage website with other European language versions, like Dutch, Polish and Russian.

Travel bag

However, I would like it if the very useful travel bag color matched the color of the device.


Technology Features


It has super speed USB 3.1, PIN authenticated; hardware encrypted portable HDD/SSD and desktop drives incorporating unique EDGE™ security technology. The new drives feature Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE) technology making them iStorage claims the most secure HDD/SSD and desktop drives currently on the market.

As for the encryption technology, the provider iStorage, is an award-winning and trusted global leader of PIN authenticated, hardware encrypted portable data storage devices.

With software free set up and operation, the diskAshur range is platform/device independent and works across all operating systems including all versions of MS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Thin Clients, Zero Clients and embedded systems. In fact, the drives will work on any device with a USB port!

EDGE™ Security Features:

This is what iStorage says about its security features. “One of the unique and underlying security features of the GDPR compliant diskAshur range is the dedicated hardware based secure microprocessor (Common Criteria EAL4+ ready), which employs built-in physical protection mechanisms designed to defend against external tamper, bypass laser attacks and fault injections.
Unlike other solutions, all the drives within this range react to automated hacking attempts by entering the deadlock frozen state, which renders all such attacks as useless.”

In plain and simple terms, without the PIN, there’s no way in!


I showed this device to a friend of mine who is an international data security expert. After a careful look at it, he said he was very impressed by the various security features and the responsiveness of the device. As a result, he has decided to obtain one for himself.


About iStorage Limited
iStorage is the trusted global leader of award-winning PIN authenticated, hardware encrypted data storage devices. Delivering the most innovative products to securely store and protect data to military specified encryption levels; safeguarding valuable business information whilst ensuring compliance to regulations and directives.

About EDGE® technology – Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption technology
A dedicated hardware-based secure microprocessor (Common Criteria EAL4+ ready), which employs built-in physical protection mechanisms designed to defend against external tamper, bypass attacks and more.

About the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The European Union will have the power to fine companies €20 million or 4% of their global turnover if they are found to be in breach of the new government legislation. GDPR, which comes into force on 25th May 2018, compels organisations who process or hold personally identifiable information of EU residents, to implement adequate security measures to protect personal data loss or face tough fines.

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