Sandisk Introduces a Secure USB Flash Storage Drive With Fingerprint Identification
SanDisk Corporation today introduced the Cruzer Profile, a portable, hi-speed USB 2.0 flash memory storage drive with added personal security capability to safeguard data, images, presentations and other personal information. Fingerprint identification technology embedded in the device helps restrict access to only the designated user of the Cruzer Profile. The Cruzer Profile was introduced at the annual CeBIT Show.
The stylish, compact Cruzer Profile, about the size of a pack of gum (dimensions: 60mm long, 24mm wide and 14mm in height), will be sold in 512 megabyte (MB) and one gigabyte (GB) capacities, and includes dual LED's. One LED indicates USB functionality and data transfer and the second one provides proper status during enrollment and authentication of the biometric fingerprint.
Mike Morganstern, the USB flash drive product marketing manager at SanDisk, said, “The USB flash drive market is attracting new customers every day and many of them want a portable storage device that will add an extra layer of security to protect the data on their device if the flash drive is lost or stolen. SanDisk’s Cruzer Profile authenticates users when a finger is swiped across the device and an embedded identification sensor reads the fingerprint, gives approval and activates the drive. We are taking SanDisk’s Cruzer brand to a new level with the Cruzer Profile, an advanced secure personal storage solution for on-the-go business people, professionals, students and many others.”
Usage of the Cruzer Profile will not require the loading of any applications on a computer. Fingerprint images will be stored on the Cruzer Profile. To provide a high degree of security and tamper protection, these images will not pass through or be placed on the computer at any time. Competing “high security” biometric USB flash drive products typically offer much lower storage capacities than Cruzer Profile and some may require that security applications be loaded on to a host computer, which is the weak link in any tamper protection strategy. In addition to the security features, the Cruzer Profile also will provide a portable password manager, which will work on any host PC.
Wes Brewer, vice president of consumer products marketing, stressed, "One of the key differentiators of the Cruzer Profile is its ability to overcome the traditional issue of sensor orientation relative to the user's finger. We spent months perfecting the industrial design of Profile by creating a two-piece tethered design that allows users to get a convenient finger swipe angle every time they use the device. No other product in this class offers that convenience."
The 512MB Cruzer Profile has a suggested retail price of $99.99 while the 1GB model carries a suggested retail tag of $199.99. SanDisk expects that the newest Cruzers will start shipping in mid-April, 2005.
The Cruzer Profile will come loaded with three useful software programs: CruzerLock™ 2, a data file encryption program: CruzerSync™, which synchronizes with Outlook data; and Cruzer PocketCache™, which allows for file backups with minimal memory consumption. A lanyard also is included to carry the device.
As it is USB Mass Storage Class (MSC) compliant, the Cruzer Profile is "plug and play" with PCs and the Macintosh when used with Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Mac OS 10.1.2+ and Mac OS 9.2.1+. A driver can be downloaded for Windows 98SE support.