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Increasing numbers of companies, institutions, and government agencies are using USB flash drives to transport and replicate data because they’re small, convenient, inexpensive, and easy to use. Today, data travels everywhere over an amazing assortment of digital tools that have fundamentally changed how we transmit, transport, and process data. Laptop and notebook computers, portable external hard drives, USB flash drives, and a host of other mobile devices have made data more portable than ever.

As a result, the ubiquitous little USB flash drive, also known as a thumb drive because they’re about the size of a thumb, has become the tool of choice for a number of applications and uses – they are highly popular promotional items, a quick and easy data back-up tool, and a handy way to transfer data between computers. However, as data management has come under increasing regulation because of privacy concerns, state and federal legislation has now made data security a priority for a wide range of companies and industries. Laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have increased pressure on companies to archive, manage, and secure sensitive data at the risk of lawsuits and massive financial penalties.

Fortunately, USB flash drives and other portable devices can be made secure with something called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology that has been adopted by the US government to encrypt data, making it unreadable unless the user has the software to unlock it. USB flash drives are now available that include self-contained AES software so that they can continue to be used for all kinds of data – including sensitive personal and financial information – without fear of inappropriate access and data theft.

With AES-encrypted USB flash drives, you can use the Remote Management Console (RMC) application (available within most operating systems) that enables you to manage your flash drives from your desktop, controlling access to the information and even deleting data if the drive is lost or stolen.

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