SanDisk has introduced two new lines of USB flash drive for storing encrypted and password-protected data.

Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise will let businesses more securely share and safeguard corporate data for the increasingly mobile workforce, the company said.

At about 2.5 inches long, both SanDisk USB flash drives are password protected and feature 256-bit encryption. They can work with any version of Windows after 2000 and provide read speeds of 24MB/s and write speeds of 20MB/s, according to officials at SanDisk.

Cruzer Professional is designed for small and mid-sized businesses and individuals interested in basic protection of data that isn't kept under tight corporate control.

The low-end USB flash drive enables end users to construct a password-protected "privacy zone" that can occupy any amount of its total capacity, said SanDisk. Areas outside the protected zone can be freely accessed by anyone, the company said.

Cruzer Enterprise is built for organisations with tougher security policies, as well as regulatory compliance and privacy concerns, SanDisk said. The high-end drive provides mandatory password-protection for all stored data - preventing the theft or accessing of files in stolen or lost systems. The device features a set-up process for complex passwords and does not require drivers.

SanDisk also introduced the Cruzer Enterprise Central Management & Control server software as an add-on to the high-end flash drive. CMC provides password recovery and renewal via the network, central data backup and restore, remote termination of any lost drives, and centralised tracking and auditing, said SanDisk.

Cruzer Professional is available in 1GB for $54.99, 2GB for $94.99, and 4GB for $144.99. A 1GB version of Cruzer Enterprise is priced at $74.99, 2GB is $124.99, and 4GB is $184.99.

A SanDisk spokesman declined to disclose pricing for the CMC add-on tool.