In March 2012, I wrote about iTwin, which sells a gadget of the same name that makes it child's play to create an encrypted file transfer tunnel between two computers over the Internet. TechRepublic reader danbi rightly pointed out that the iTwin didn't offer anything that standard and free encryption software can be made to do. He questioned what else iTwin offers beyond being a "clever way" of distributing encryption keys, suggesting that the inclusion of onboard encryption would make it more desirable.
Though it remains debatable whether the $99 price of an iTwin is too hefty, there is no doubt it does provide a clever way for computer users to perform encrypted file transfers without having to configure complicated encryption or networking software. In short, the iTwin brings military grade encrypted file transfers to lay computer users.
The company has been working hard to make its hardware key-based security device more useful, and in October it added a new feature called SecureBox in a free software update. SecureBox adds Dropbox support for files to be automatically encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption before being transmitted to the online storage service. According to the company, the encrypted data will only be accessed with the encryption keys that reside on the iTwin devices. Hackers who manage to break into the Dropbox account, for example, will find only gibberish in the uploaded files. Apparently, even the filenames are obfuscated. SecureBox takes the risk out of storing data in the clouds.
Note: It makes sense to bring only one half of the iTwin out should you choose to protect your Dropbox data in this manner. This will allow the second half to serve as a recovery key for retrieving the encrypted data if one is lost or misplaced.
According to the company, SecureBox should have been automatically pushed as a download to current iTwin users.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.