USB Flash Drives a Security Risk?

Progress in new technology, driven by the autumn in Nand Flash worth, has led to a number of small units that may hold a significant amount of data. The gadget that epitomises all of these is the USB Flash Drive. In 1999 a 16MB USB Flash Drive value £50 now a 4GB USB Flash Drive costs only £10.

USB Flash Drives have been an ideal buddy to businesses over the previous couple of years, making it quick and simple to transfer data from one machine to another and to hold work dwelling to complete without needing to haul round a heavy laptop. Nonetheless, with flash drives being able to hold ever growing amounts of data and switch data sooner than ever, USB flash drives are being looked at by some firms as one in all their biggest threats to security.

The use of USB Flash Drives in enterprise poses three categories of risk: the contraction of a computer virus; the lack of data and the theft of data. All three of those are considerably critical: a computer virus might totally wipe out a company’s IT infrastructure and delete their most necessary files, if the corporate hasn’t an effective data backup this could ruin it; if an organization holds sensitive data and loses it, the company could possibly be found to have broken the DPA and will get fined a crippling sum of cash, not to point out the damage to its repute; if a sales particular person walks out with your whole clients database and gives it to his new agency you’re going to lose a minimum of a few customers.

Fortunately there are some solutions out there to reduce the possibilities of businesses being a victim of one of many sad situations mentioned above.

1. Removal of USB ports – The removal of USB ports is a somewhat severe response to this potential threat and is often a practically troublesome one to implement, lots of firms use USB ports for his or her mice and keyboards and these would all must be changed.

2. Encryption of USB Drives – Encryption on USB Flash Drive can take one in all kinds either a hardware encryption or software encryption. Forms of hard ware inscription may include only permitting access to the USB Flash Drive after the consumer has authenticated his or her writerity utilizing a password, encryption certificates or biometric authentication (most commonly finger print recognition however generally additionally retina recognition). The encryption of storage media can also be managed by way of software two examples are Microsoft’s Active Directory and Novell’s eDirectory, both will be set up to use certificates to data held on USB Flash Drives.

3. Restrict access to necessary files on critical servers – As with all company information access should be given on a need to foundation and taken away from staff as quickly as they not want that access: if you’re going to give someone their notice is it worth letting them have access while they sit it out?

4. Monitor access of company employees to sensitive files – Just because your workers 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 best way to identify any uncommon sample and may give you time to behave and stop any doable data leaks.

5. Limit measurement of data transferred to USB drives- Data switch restriction software can be used to protect sensitive files by capping the sizes of files that may be copied to a USB Flash Drive. The file measurement limit merely needs to be set to the size of the smallest sensitive files.

6. Enforce USB Flash Drive policies – Implementing USB Flash Drive Insurance policies can go a long way to reducing the risk of accidental loss of data, policies alone aren’t likely to stop a disgruntled worker from doing any damage. Listed here are some policies you would possibly wish to consider: USB Flash Drives should only be used for data transfer and never storage. Data shouldn’t be on USB Flash Drives for over a week. Data should not be transferred to USB flash drives without prior consent kind a manager.

7. Firewalls and Anti viruses – Viruses can be contracted from USB Flash Drives just as they are often contracted from some other type of media. To keep your self safe make sure you have got the latest updates installed for whichever antivirus software you use.

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