Apricorn introduces its USB drive: the next-generation Aegis Fortress L3

Apricorn released the Aegis Fortress L3, which brings security validation to a high capacity storage system. The new range includes FIPS validated USB 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 drives, with military grade encryption that meets the requirements of regulated sectors including defence, finance, government, power and energy, legal and healthcare.

The new device meets the need to store and move larger amounts of sensitive data offline. It features Apricorn’s latest chipset, which delivers higher processing speeds across the range. The SSD versions have write speeds of up to 150 percent faster than previous generations, and read speeds of up to 180 percent faster, while offering affordable elevated storage capacities of up to 16TB.

The product’s FIPS 140-2 Level-3 validation (pending Q1 2019) can be assigned to a portable encrypted drive, and applies to the whole device – including the electronics, drive and enclosure. This validation level and boundary (pending Q1 2019) has previously been available in Apricorn’s Aegis Secure Key line.

The enclosure itself is milled from a solid block of aircraft-grade 6061 aluminium alloy, with snap-off unidirectional security fasteners cemented with epoxy to capture evidence of tampering. The membrane-style keypad carries an IP66 certification (pending) against water, dust and grit penetration. The exterior is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and demanding field conditions, and to provide shock resistance.

Like all Aegis Secure Drives and Secure Keys, the Fortress L3 is software-free in setup and use; all passwords and commands are entered by way of the device’s onboard keypad, and all authentication and encryption processes take place within the device itself, never sharing passwords or encryption key data with its host computer.

Featuring military grade 256-bit AES XTS encryption and locked down firmware, the Fortress cannot be updated further – making it immune to malware such as ‘badUSB’. The device comes with Forced Enrolment (there are no default PINs), two read-only modes, data recovery PINs and Aegis Configurator compatibility.

“Data breaches continue to rise despite the recent enforcement of GDPR,” said Jon Fielding, Managing Director, EMEA, Apricorn. “In the survey we ran earlier this year, half of UK companies admitted they weren’t confident that their data was encrypted in transit, at rest and in the cloud.

“Now we’re seeing a need for organisations to securely store and move large amounts of sensitive data offline, avoiding potential targeting in the cloud, software encryption vulnerabilities and brute force attempts. Our new Aegis Fortress L3 gives regulated industries the highest level of security validation for small form-factor storage systems, and can be a simple step towards GDPR compliance, specifically Article 32. It provides the ability to quickly and securely transfer large volumes of data to and from devices that lack keyboards or have non-standard software, such as medical diagnostic equipment, cockpit control panels, industrial machinery and embedded systems.”

The Aegis Fortress L3, with interchangeable type-A and type-C connector cables, features:

  • 256-Bit AES XTS military-grade hardware encryption: Encrypts all data on the fly.
  • Software-free: Ready to use right out of the box; no software, no drivers, no updates.
  • OS agnostic: Compatible with PC, MAC, Linux, Android, Symbian or any mass storage compliant system with a powered USB port.
  • Forced enrolment: No factory-preset default PINs.
  • Aegis Configurator compatible: Create custom profiles and mass configure multiple Aegis devices at once with the click of a button.
  • Onboard keypad: All PIN entries are performed on the device’s keypad, making it compatible with systems without keyboards. It shares no critical security parameters with its host computer.
  • Lock-override mode: Can be programmed to remain unlocked during reboot/USB re-enumeration.
  • Two read-only modes: Mode one can be set globally by the administrator. Mode 2, if enabled by policy, can be set by the user. Read-only modes preserve data in its original, unaltered state.
  • Data recovery PINs. Managed by administrators and for users who forget their password.
  • Brute force protection: After a predetermined number of consecutive incorrect PIN entry attempts, the Aegis Fortress L3 will conclude that it is under brute force attack and destroy its encryption key, rendering the data useless.
  • Increased storage capacities: 1TB – 5TB in HDD models; 500GB – 16TB in SSD models.
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