MXI Security Stealth MXP – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith

MXI Security is the leader in providing superior managed portable security solutions designed to meet the highest security and privacy standards of even the most demanding customers.

MXI Security solutions combine the power of secure storage with secure identity and access management services.

Easy to manage and transparent to the end-user, MXI Security solutions enable organizations to satisfy multiple security needs with a single device, facilitating greater mobility without ever compromising security.

Stealth MXP is ideally suited for organizations that require up to 3-factor authentication to satisfy their needs for secure portable storage, identity and user authentication.

ACCESS Identity, the identity management software suite, allows mission-critical enterprise systems such as single sign-on, remote access, full disk encryption, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and others to be fully secured while allowing for total portability.

Stealth MXP offers truly portable security in a hostile digital world which is transparent, simple and trustworthy for the user with benefits are for the user and the organization alike.

If offer the ultimate in portability a zero-footprint approach which means that no software installed on user workstations and no administrative rights necessary on local system. The zero-footprint approach leaves – virtually – no trace behind of the fact that the device has been on the host PC.

The test unit, a 1GB device, supplied by MXI's UK offices via OnPR in Germany, came preloaded with a variety of applications, including the Mojopac Enterprise virtual desktop environment. We shall come to look at those at a later stage, however.

The drive is encased in a very nice brushed metal housing that appears quite rugged, though maybe not as rugged as Ironkey (though I still have to obtain a sample of their drives for review) or Blockmaster Safestick (the latter which I have already reviewed).

It is considerably bigger, not to say chunkier, than other USB memory sticks, especially the Safestick, which is very small and thin. However, considering the technology packed into the MXI Security Stealth MXP device the chunkiness is not surprising. It is, though, still very light and the user does not even notice it on him or her.

Mind you, that is the problem as to how USB memory sticks are getting lost. No problem here, on that score though, as the data and everything else on the stick are secured against unauthorized use and only the enrolled user can, in fact, access the contents of the stick.

The general specification of the device are a complete zero software footprint, hardware-based AES 256-bit CBC encryption, manageable with ACCESS Enterprise.

The MXI Security Stealth MXP is a general purpose mass storage in flash memory capacities of 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB.

However, it is intended to be, in all honesty, more than that, as a member of the team told me. Secure flash devices, whether with or without biometric security is but one aspect. What is really aimed at is what we will be seeing in the review articles that shall be coming along shortly.

Authentication of the MXI Security Stealth MXP is via a number of means such as strong password, biometric with hardware fingerprint matching. Two-factor for secure portable storage (biometric and password) and three-factor for digital identity applications (biometric and password and device). For more information on the technical specs see the website.

Not only does Stealth MXP provide true zero-footprint portability in any environment that supports USB mass storage, but goes even further by offering transparent, hardware-based, AES 256-bit CBC encryption.

Better yet, Stealth MXP also offers advanced digital identity features.

Secure portability of digital certificates, encryption keys, RSA SecurID soft tokens, and static application credentials – as well as SAML for WS-Trust claims-based identity transactions – mean that Stealth MXP is significantly more versatile and secure than standard USB devices.

MXI Security’s ACCESS Enterprise device management solution provides unmatched control over large deployments of portable security devices. Provisioning is streamlined, security policies are customizable, deploying and managing MXI Security devices across a wide range of network and security environments are made simple.

While the MXI Security Stealth MXP stick works on both USB 1.1 and USB 2, and while for launching Access alone and for using the device as secure data storage USB 1.1 may suffice and works well enough, USB 2 is definitely the best and should be used wherever possible, especially if it is used in conjunction with a virtual desktop environment (more about that in a separate review).

As we have Macintosh OSX support for the MXI Security Stealth MXP devices automatically already, or so it would appear from the spec sheets, one can but ask as to whether there is any chance that we may, in the not too distant future, see this device also being able to be used on Linux PCs and laptops. This considering especially as many governments now, local and national, are migrating to the various different distros of Linux, and Linux is no longer just the domain of the geeks.

MXI Security Stealth MXP – secure data storage, biometric secured, without any footprint – basically – left on the host, in a light and handy unit.

From a user point of view the device is easy to initialize and set up with password and finger scan and while that initial setting up takes a little while – it did with me but then I was running it on a USB 1.1 connection on a system that may not have the ideal configuration – once that is done the device runs quick and smooth.

This must be considered one of the best, if not the best, and most secure, hardware encrypted storage devices on the market today. I can most highly recommend it.

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008