USB Flash Drives a Security Threat?

Progress in new technology, pushed by the fall in Nand Flash worth, has led to a number of small units that can hold a significant amount of data. The device that epitomises all of those is the USB Flash Drive. In 1999 a 16MB USB Flash Drive value £50 now a 4GB USB Flash Drive prices only £10.

USB Flash Drives have been a terrific pal to businesses over the previous couple of years, making it quick and easy to transfer data from one machine to a different and to hold work residence to complete without needing to haul round a heavy laptop. Nonetheless, with flash drives being able to hold ever rising quantities of data and switch data sooner than ever, USB flash drives are being looked at by some companies as one in every of their biggest threats to security.

The usage of USB Flash Drives in enterprise poses three classes of risk: the contraction of a computer virus; the loss of data and the theft of data. All three of those are considerably serious: a computer virus might totally wipe out an organization’s IT infrastructure and delete their most important files, if the company hasn’t an efficient data backup this might smash it; if an organization holds sensitive data and loses it, the company may very well be found to have broken the DPA and could get fined a crippling sum of money, to not mention the damage to its status; if a sales person walks out with your total purchasers database and offers it to his new agency you are going to lose a minimum of just a few customers.

Thankfully there are some solutions out there to reduce the chances of companies being a victim of one of many sad situations mentioned above.

1. Removal of USB ports – The removal of USB ports is a moderately extreme response to this potential risk and is often a practically tough one to implement, a whole lot of firms use USB ports for his or her mice and keyboards and these would all have to be changed.

2. Encryption of USB Drives – Encryption on USB Flash Drive can take certainly one of two kinds either a hardware encryption or software encryption. Types of hard ware inscription might embody only permitting access to the USB Flash Drive after the user has authenticated his or her creatority using a password, encryption certificate or biometric authentication (most commonly finger print recognition however generally additionally retina recognition). The encryption of storage media can also be managed through software examples are Microsoft’s Active Directory and Novell’s eDirectory, both may be arrange to use certificates to data held on USB Flash Drives.

3. Prohibit access to important files on critical servers – As with all company data access ought to be given on a must basis and taken away from employees as quickly as they now not want that access: if you are going to give somebody their discover is it price letting them have access while they sit it out?

4. Monitor access of company staff to sensitive files – Just because your employees have access to the data doesn’t suggest they have ant rights to do with as they please. Monitoring their behaviour with sensitive data is the most effective way to spot any uncommon pattern and can give you time to act and stop any doable data leaks.

5. Limit size of data transferred to USB drives- Data transfer restriction software can be utilized to protect sensitive files by capping the sizes of files that can be copied to a USB Flash Drive. The file size limit simply must be set to the dimensions of the smallest sensitive files.

6. Enforce USB Flash Drive insurance policies – Implementing USB Flash Drive Policies can go a long way to reducing the risk of unintended loss of data, policies alone aren’t likely to cease a disgruntled worker from doing any damage. Here are some insurance policies you may need to consider: USB Flash Drives ought to only be used for data switch and never storage. Data shouldn’t be on USB Flash Drives for over a week. Data should not be switchred to USB flash drives without prior consent kind a manager.

7. Firepartitions and Anti viruses – Viruses could be contracted from USB Flash Drives just as they can be contracted from some other type of media. To keep your self safe make certain you’ve got the latest updates installed for whichever antivirus software you use.

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