Why USB Protection Is Essential

by Rod Dunne on May 23, 2011

in Hardware, Security

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Failing to use USB protection software or devices as cost of many government employees who have lost their USB memory drives only for them to be found and read by the media. This is embarrassing for the employees and their departments and raises the potential of legal action as well as data protection issues. Here I’ll explain why the use these tools should be mandatory in all workplaces.

Ease of access: The simple fact is that anybody with access to a low cost data recovery program can easily scan the USB device and find files in its memory. This includes files that have been formatted, deleted or corrupted on the disk which even the user may not have suspected are still there. This makes encrypting the data using USB protection devices (i.e. USB drives with security chips already built into them) or software essential in order to obstruct data recovery.

Intellectual property/commercial espionage: USB drives could easily contain the entire code base for software products belonging to companies, architectural documents or other intellectual property bunch of the company. If this was to get into the wrong hands (i.e. your competition) then they can easily reproduce your work or possibly even find loopholes in your systems which opens your company up to all forms of security threats.

Legal: USB protection is also a critical subject where customer data is concerned. Employees storing customer information on USB drives and then taking this information offsite are running the risk of this data falling into public hands. If this happens then there is the potential of legal action against the firm for their lack of security processes.

Volume of data: USB drive capacity is now potentially so large that it is possible to store vast volumes of data on them. It is for good reason that many companies now disable the USB ports on the computers so that individuals do not have the capability to store large amounts of sensitive company information.

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