Storage vendor Kingston has announced a secure USB stick for the business sector that comes pre-integrated with a mandatory management system from Swedish company BlockMaster.

The partnership will see BlockMaster’s SafeConsole security system tightly bound to Kingston’s refreshed DataTraveler Vault Privacy Managed (DTVPM) product, offering transparent 256-bit AES encryption as standard.

The move marks a significant coming together of a mass-market storage vendor with a third-party developer. Until now, mass-market storage vendors have used their own management systems, leaving third-party vendors to mount software on customised USB sticks.

Neither of these approaches is necessarily a bad thing but fusing the two could help commoditize the market for secure USB sticks in the crucial enterprise sector that is crying out for an affordable combination.

However, perhaps the most important element is that the drives have to be used with the system and are not designed to work standalone. This pairing is a way of enforcing management on drives that might otherwise become security risks.

The DataTraveler Vault is also ruggedized, waterproof, uses longer life memory designed to withstand multiple write cycles.

“The partnership with Kingston offers customers more choice when it comes to hardware. Several device types managed by the same system are in strong demand and we are happy to now be able to service even more customers,” said BlockMaster CSO, Anders Kjellander.

In the last five years, lost USB sticks have become one of security's high-profile genres, with regular loss incidents such as that of a Scottish Hospital fined for mislaying sensitive patient data on one.