For information about how COVID-19 has affected our business operations, click here.

Kingston Encrypted USB Drives are a Key Component of Impending GDPR Compliance

  • GDPR Affects Global Companies which Interact with European Union Residents
  • Banning Employee Use of Removable Storage Devices Creates Other Security Issues and Impacts Workers’ Productivity
  • Kingston Encrypted USB Drives are Security Solutions Designed to Meet the Challenges of Today’s Workforce and IT Security Requirements


Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, has been at the forefront of how the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective this month, will affect anyone who processes data of European Union residents. Major corporations and global organisations are reacting to the security threat of removable storage by banning them without realising the problems this creates. Instead, the use of encrypted USB Flash drives, such as Kingston’s IronKey™ and DataTraveler® models, is an essential element in promoting cybersecurity, maintaining workforce productivity and compliance with GDPR. At the same time, companies should also have standards, policies and guidelines in place for the use of encrypted USB storage devices.

“We believe that businesses and other organisations that ban their employees from using removable storage devices have not conducted sufficient analysis to understand the many ways data flows in and out of an organisation,” said Valentina Vitolo, EMEA Flash Business Manager, Kingston. “Simply stopping USB usage altogether will not prevent people from exposing or stealing valuable data, but there are readily available solutions to control access to USB ports, USB drives and what data can be copied to them.”


The GDPR Impacts EU and non-EU Based Organisations

            The EU GDPR, to be fully implemented this month, seeks to strengthen data-protection rights for individuals within the EU. It aims to future-proof data protection in the EU and to non-EU organisations which process data of EU residents. In case of a data breach, organisations will face fines of up to 4 percent of their annual global revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater) and must inform their national supervisory authority.

The average cost of a data breach has increased globally by 23 percent since 2013. The average cost of a data breach for large organisations in the EU is €3.7 million and in the U.S. is $7 million.


The Cybersecurity Challenge of Removable Media

Major announcements from companies that recently banned removable media did so because “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost, or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.” And with the implementation of GDPR this month, there are significant financial incentives to minimise risk.

            Blocking or prohibiting employees from all USB ports sounds like an easy solution, however, it can also restrict their productivity and lower their work efficiency. Today’s mobile workforce has legitimate business purposes for using removable media. For instance:

  • Non-cloud storage: a mobile workforce may not have access to necessary files or ability to transfer files due to unreliable local “Free Wi-Fi,” network permissions or firewalls;
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA): servicing systems or helping customers with software deployment requires distributing patches via a USB drive;
  • Remote data: field research data collection from emergency response, scientific to military situations.


Banning the use of USB drives has been done before. Few – if any – have been successful. Most bans were replaced by instituting and adhering to efficient standards/policies that incorporated or mandated the use of encrypted USB drives. These solutions have helped large and small businesses transport their mobile data safely and confidently for years.


The Solution: Encrypted Drives

Encryption is one of the most trustworthy means of protection, especially in cases involving confidential or sensitive data. Encrypted USB drives are security product solutions and an essential pillar of a comprehensive data loss-prevention (DLP) strategy. Therefore, companies and organizations should insist employees use only encrypted USB drives, which combine the productivity advantages of allowing USB access while protecting the information onboard. Encrypted USB solutions are designed to protect even the most sensitive data, using the strictest security regulations and protocols.

            Encrypted USB drives are powerful tools in closing security gaps. They help ensure security and compliance by offering:

  • Hardware-based AES-256bit Encryption in XTS mode
  • Anti-virus /malware protection
  • Ability to be managed remotely
  • TAA Compliant /FIPS Certified
  • Capacities ranging from 4GB to 128GB
  • Kingston’s customisation program


For more information on IronKey and Kingston encrypted solutions, visit

Kingston can be found on:


About Kingston Technology Company, Inc.

Kingston Technology Company, Inc. is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Kingston designs, manufactures and distributes memory products for desktops, laptops, servers, printers, and Flash memory products for PDAs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and MP3 players. Through its global network of subsidiaries and affiliates, Kingston has manufacturing facilities in California, Taiwan, China and sales representatives in the United States, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Australia, India, Taiwan, China, and Latin America. For more information, please call +44 (0)1932 738888 or visit

Kingston and the Kingston logo are registered trademarks of Kingston Technology Corporation. All rights reserved. All other marks may be the property of their respective titleholders.

Media Relations:

Kingston PR Team
Kingston Technology Europe Co LLP
+44 (0) 1932 738888
[email protected]

Maggie Zaboura
Zaboura Consultancy Ltd
+44 (0) 2072973371
[email protected]

Past Press Release

Press Home | 2019 | 2018