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  November 1, 2013

Difference between USB encryption and copy protection

usb copy protection

The USB copy protection is not the same thing as USB encryption. Don’t mix or confuse one with the other. They are two different technologies and they have different utility. While the USB copy protection protects the digital data of a USB flash drive in a way that they cannot be replicated, the USB encryption actually scrambles the data on the USB storage device, making it unreadable without a decryption key or other means.

Both technologies protect your sensitive data by preventing from being replicated and they require some level of unlocking, butthat is the end of their similarities. There is nothing else they have in common. Next, we will take a closer look at both of them.

The USB encryption

Let’s start with the USB encryption. This technology will scramble the content of a USB flash drive into an unreadable digital data format and the only way to decrypt the data is to have a password or a key. The decryption will restore the files to their original format, making them readable for your applications. The USB encryption is extremely valuable in case your USB flash drive is stolen or lost, because no one with a password or a decryption key can read you sensitive digital data. But be careful to whom you provide the unlocking method, because one decrypted, the data can be read by anyone.

The USB protection uses part of the encryption technology, however, with it the user can see the files but cannot copy them from the USB flash drive. This is provided by a two-step process. The first process is on the USB flash drive itself and the second is an encryption file with a specific encryption that works with a decryption engine found on the memory stick. If the encryption file works with the decryption element from the memory stick, the information is sent to the computer, making the digital data readable to the user. In the case that the files are copied onto a computer, there is no decryption engine, so the files will remain encrypted. They will no longer be viewable and will have no value to anyone who has them.

The USB memory drive will act like a physical security dongle. As long as it stays attached to the computer, you can work with any files stored on it. It will actually become a USB copy protection.

The USB copy protection

The USB copy protection is extremely valuable to protect Intellectual Property digital data, for people that need to share it without any risk from internet data theft or other threats. So if you need to publish reports, documents, articles, utilities or other types of software over the internet, with this technology, you can safely let other users access your content, but they can’t copy it or distribute it further.

The USB copy protection actually keeps the honest people honest. Regardless of their intention, the USB copy protection solves the problem of sharing passwords, because once the password is given away, you never know what the user will do with your data.

Take into consideration the fact that if you use USB encryption, the drive selected for storing your information might be formatted or wiped off completely, so be sure that you don’t have anything important on it when you start this process. With USB copy protection, you can put your sensitive files even onto a write protected partition or a CD-ROM partition and it will add a new layer of security.

How to Password Protect USB Flash Drives