Cambridge Consultants has developed a new secure way to transfer files. The new Shadowire technology can be used as a double-ended USB stick which only holds the data for the duration of the transfer, after which it is erased, eliminating the need for software or drivers, passwords or PINs.
With businesses possessing often large amounts of sensitive data, the need to protect this information, specifically during transfer, is one of the most important issues businesses are dealing with. To secure the data during transfer several options exist, including USBs with passwords or PINs. The downside of this option is that the UBS device can be stolen or lost and the software or drivers hacked, with the passwords falling into the wrong hands.
To help businesses deal avert these risks, product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has developed an innovative technology, dubbed Shadowire, which according to the firm takes the risk out of transferring files between computers.
How does it work?
The Shadowire technology can be used to create a double-ended USB stick. The two computers using Shadowire see the USB stick as a standard device, with its data encrypted using a per-session key. When the USB is unplugged, the device erases the data and appears clean, providing the users the same convenience of a UBS stick without the hassle of software or drivers, passwords or PINs. The technology can also be configured to behave like a one-way controller to protect against unintended data transfer.
Explaining the benefit of Shadowire, Jez Stark, Head of Networked Systems at Cambridge Consultants, says: “Using a standard USB drive to transfer files is convenient, yet the risk it poses to an organisation is significant. Accidental data loss can incur commercial and, increasingly, legal costs. Malware infection is also a real threat. With the Shadowire technology, however, if you leave the USB device on the train you lose the hardware but, crucially, not the data. There’s no danger of a hacker gaining access to your data because the encryption key is only valid while the transfer is taking place. The data is rendered indecipherable once you unplug the device – and, the next time you use it, it appears as a newly formatted drive.”