Kingston buys encrypted flash drive maker IronKey

IronKey's thumb drives meet U.S. government standards for security

Kingston Technology today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation Corp.

Imation, which purchased the then privately-held IronKey in 2011, did not disclose the financial details of the sale to Kingston.

IronKey is perhaps best known for its highly secure USB flash drives, which use 256-bit AES encryption algorithm to secure data and a stainless steel case with no seams so it cannot be pried open.

The secure storage devices are validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to meet the stringent Level 3 criteria of FIPS 140-2. Combined with the cloud-based IronKey Enterprise Management Service, data security can be managed and audited from anywhere in the world.

IronKey's thumb drives carry with them a hefty price as well.

Kingston, which has had an encrypted portable drive line since it launched its DataTraveler product more than 10 years ago, said IronKey is one of the "leading alternative brands in encrypted USB flash" drives.

"The acquisition provides customers with a more comprehensive portfolio of products and services, and demonstrates Kingston's commitment as the global leader in trusted encrypted solutions for mobile data," Kingston said in a statement.

Kingston envisions no immediate changes that would affect the channel partners now supporting IronKey products.

"IronKey customers with any questions or concerns are asked to contact their current distribution or reseller partners, or email ironkey@kingston.com," the company said.

In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker Inc. has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services (EMS), a software platform that provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives for enterprises. DataLocker previously acquired the SafeConsole management system from BlockMaster, which Kingston uses on its current management-ready encrypted USB Flash drives.

"The addition and integration of the IronKey brand with our own award-winning line of DataTraveler encrypted USB drives provides a dynamic range of encrypted solutions for customers of all levels who want to protect mobile data," Valentina Vitolo, Kingston's flash business manager, said in a statement. "Having our great partner DataLocker manage both the EMS and SafeConsole platforms is a win for all of our combined customers. We look forward to extending our relationship with DataLocker."

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