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Antoine Harb, the Team Leader for the Middle East and North Africa at Kingston Technology, speaks about storage requirements in a time when people are working from home, the need for data encryption now than ever before, increased uptake of SSDs, and more

What sort of storage requirements do you foresee for the rest of the year as many countries go into lockdown again and people prepare to work from home?
Since the very first lockdown due to the pandemic, we have experienced an increase in the demand for Laptop DRAM and SSD’s, as both adults and children had to adapt to the new normal of working from home and homeschooling. With many countries now moving into yet another lockdown, we believe that we will see an even greater growth for Laptop DRAM and SSD’s as people slowly migrate from a temporary working from home set up, to longer-term equipment that will allow them the same working experience at home as they used to have in the office. Lastly, as a result of larger numbers of people spending most of their time at home, we also saw an increased demand for our gaming products, such as the HyperX DRAM and NVMe SSDs.

How can companies ensure their data is protected no matter where their employees are based and work from?
Data protection is one of the most important issues for companies of all sizes, as the loss of important files due to data breaches of company systems and possible data theft, can lead to high costs as a result of penalties. However, indirect costs should also not be underestimated because a company claiming data loss faces negative publicity that can severely damage its corporate image, as customers lose trust in the brand. The real risk of data breaches or theft is therefore the loss of a company’s reputation.

In order to prevent this chain reaction of events, it is important to ensure the proper training of all employees on the risks they run in relation to data security. Corporate connections, VPNs, and firewalls are also systems that need to be secured, but the problem doesn’t end there, as portable devices that are now leaving the safety of the company walls such as notebooks and USB devices must also be considered.

What role does encryption play in a situation where employees work remotely?
Using encrypted devices in the workplace essentially adds a layer of protection not only from possible cyber-attacks but also from human error such as the loss of equipment if an employee loses or has their notebook, company flash drive, or any other tool stolen. This risk of human error is obviously far greater now, where more people are taking their work equipment out of the workplace into their own homes. Through the usage of encryption, however, even if a device is lost or stolen, no one apart from the rightful owner can access the data on these devices.

What products and solutions does Kingston Technology offer on the market to make sure WFH data security is achieved?
The productivity of people working remotely must not be compromised, so we need to work on equipping notebooks with encrypted SSDs and using encrypted USBs. In addition, it should be mentioned, that the total cost of the basic infrastructure of unencrypted or encrypted devices does not vary significantly. It is simply a different choice of component that can be made from the outset the company should choose encrypted SSDs and USB’s over unencrypted SSDs or entry-level USBs.

Kingston Technology offers a variety of products for the needs of different target groups from a consumer to an enterprise and government level of security. In terms of SSD’s Kingston Technology can offer for example the consumer-oriented KC2500 NVMe PCIe or the enterprise-oriented DC1000B NVMe PCIe. Kingston’s KC2500 NVMe PCIe SSD delivers powerful performance using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. With read/write speeds up to 3,500/2,900MB/s, KC2500 delivers outstanding endurance and improves the workflow in desktop, workstations, and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

The DC1000B on the other hand is a high-performance M.2 (2280) NVMe PCIe SSD using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 PCIe interface with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND and ideally suited for use in high-volume rack-mount servers as an internal boot drive(s) as well as for use in purpose-built systems where a high-performance M.2 SSD is needed that includes onboard power loss protection (PLP).

When it comes to encrypted USB’s however, Kingston’s DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 USB Flash drive provides affordable business-grade security with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode and the DT2000 with its keypad that locks the drive with a word or number combination, for easy-to-use PIN protection. DT2000 features hardware-based, Full Disk AES 256-bit data encryption in XTS mode.

What has led to the increased adoption of SSDs when it comes to PCs and laptops?
We have seen an increase in interest for SSD and DRAM due to the pandemic as companies and individuals update already existing WFH equipment and provide new equipment. As restrictions continue and, in some countries, become stronger once again, we see this demand continuing as companies are now seeing this temporary solution becoming more permanent.

In a new environment where a big part of our work and private communications is held on portable devices, there is a natural interest for this to run as smoothly as possible. The latest research, however, has shown that the most commonly used video convergence tools are actually consuming big chunks of memory themselves. In order to keep background programs, which are potentially needed for the presentation of business documents running smoothly, while being on a virtual meeting, it can be helpful to update the memory and storage capacity of your PC or laptop.

Have you seen major uptake of portable storage in the on-the-go content creators’ community?
In 2021 we will expect to see more USB 3.x drives replacing the USB 2.0 version to help the content creator community to stay active and able to continue their work to their usual standard requirements. It is also forecasted for 32GB to be the most shipped capacity, due to supply and cost.

Kingston technology also just launched their new Workflow station and readers to give users the freedom to create and customise a file offload setup that fits their needs allowing them to transfer video, photos, and audio from multiple sources at once.

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