Victorinox intends to add a USB memory stick to its lineup of iconic tools that fold out from the casing of the company's popular Swiss Army knives. The hook that Victorinox announced Friday is that the new products will also sport high-tech security features aimed at preventing the devices from being accessed by others if lost or stolen.
"Life is becoming more digital every day, and yet people do so little to protect their data," said the new product line's designer, Martin Kuster. "The world's most common password is '12345' -- and even encryption can be broken, given time."
The new memory-stick devices from Victorinox will even sport a fingerprint scanner linked to a heat and oxygen sensor capable of determining whether the user's finger is still attached to a living person, the company said. Also on tap is a Mission Impossible-style self-destruct mechanism that will fry the device's internal circuitry in the event that anyone attempts to physically crack the case.
The available memory aboard each USB-enabled knife is expected to range from 8GB to 32GB, depending on the model selected. To prevent Victorinox Secure devices from attracting the attention of airport security workers, road warriors will have the option of detaching the memory drive from the knife's housing when traveling by air.
Victorinox Secure devices integrate single-chip technology that eliminates the need for external and accessible lines between the different coding/security steps, the company said. The data on this chip is also secured through the use of AES256 encryption -- the same 256-bit cypher that the U.S. government has adopted for securing sensitive information.
In addition to the USB drive, the new lineup of Swiss Army knives will include a retractable ballpoint pen, a blade, scissors, a nail file with screwdriver, and a key ring. Frequent fliers in need of the whole kit and caboodle can always place their units in checked baggage.
A Challenge To Hackers
Victorinox is so confident that its new lineup of secure memory devices is
uncrackable that it offered a $150,000 prize last week to anyone who can breach the new product's layers of security . Though no one claimed the prize, the jury is still out on whether the product will be adopted wholesale by enterprises.
"It's a cool product that will capture attention," said David Reinsel, group vice president of and semiconductor research at IDC. But "adoption en masse by corporations is quite another thing."
There's no doubt that data breaches are expensive for businesses in many ways, Reinsel noted. However, so is data on a computer that sits behind an encryption key that only the employee knows, he said.
"Hence the age-old issue -- corporations (most of them) want to control the encryption methodology and the keys," Reinsel said. "Any corporate solution would have to allow for some type of master key so that the company can get at a rogue employee's data."
The new Victorinox Secure devices will initially be launched in the United Kingdom, though Victorinox has yet to unveil a firm release date. Pricing is expected to range between $75 and $270, depending on the amount of memory in each model.
Posted: 2010-03-30 @ 10:33am PT
Cool Device! Want to test this one!!!!
Posted: 2010-03-30 @ 7:41am PT
I want one!