Where portable data storage is concerned, security has always been right at the top of the priority list. With the ease of access that comes with portable storage, the threat of unauthorized access is an important concern for both businesses and individuals. Hence the impetus behind Sarotech's Cutie Bio, an all new 2.5-inch portable HDD enclosure solely designed to secure your data with its biometric locking system.
What we have here is a basic application of biometrics to an external storage enclosure, with the requisite fingerprint sensor and encryption software. To start the encryption process, we ran the bundled encryption tool, where the user will be first directed to allocate two separate partitions, aptly named Public and Security.
Unlike the Security partition, the Public partition will not be encrypted and protected in any form. Users are given the choice of using the biometric system or the traditional encrypted password option to protect their Security partition.
For the biometric route, users are then required to select a specific finger, scan and register that fingerprint. There's the option of inputting up to ten different sets of fingerprints corresponding to each finger on both hands on the Sarotech Cutie Bio, so multiple registered users can access the same hard drive easily.
Beyond its biometric lock, the password encryption option should be familiar to everyone. It is not as foolproof as the biometric option since a weak password may be easily broken.
The last security feature on this Sarotech is a Fingerprint Live Time setting that locks down all secured data after a specific amount of time has passed. Such a feature is designed for the period when the user is away from his system with the Sarotech Cutie Bio already connected and hence unattended.
Specifying a lockdown timer after which another swipe on the biometric scanner is required to unlock the data is a way of countering such a scenario.
So, what's to stop users from removing the internal hard drive from the Sarotech enclosure and bypass its biometric system altogether? Obviously Sarotech has thought of that too and their solution is to encrypt the whole hard drive once you begin the initialization process. When we swapped the 2.5-inch hard drive from the Sarotech onto another enclosure, it was impossible to access any data on the drive, including the Public partition. Thus, even if one loses the hard drive, your private data will not be at the mercy of others as it requires a full format and partitioning before the drive can even be read by the operating system. That of course erases all your data and foils potential data thieves unless they happen to be hard drive recovery experts too.
Connection-wise, we are looking at a USB 2.0 port with considerably high transfer speeds of up to 480Mbps in our tests. The Sarotech Cutie Bio is available only in dark pink (probably a good answer to its Cutie moniker) and feels snug with its 85g weight (without HDD).
Without a doubt, Sarotech takes data protection to a whole new level with its multiple security options. Color choices are unfortunately limited to pink and with a recommended retail price of S$89 just for the enclosure, consumers might find it a bit hard to swallow. However, for its detailed attention to data protection, it may just be the most secure enclosure you can find for your precious data.