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USB flash drives have become a popular choice for people needing a convenient, portable, and cheap storage device for their data. Unfortunately, as the use of these devices increases, so does the risk of potential security breaches.
Some of these risks include the introduction of malware such as viruses, worms, and trojans to the computer or even your network. By default, many Windows machines are configured to automatically run or execute software on USB devices. Malware can also reside in data stored on USB drives that can be triggered when the files are opened. For many companies, unmonitored USB devices also expose the company to the risk of unauthorized theft or exposure of sensitive, confidential data.
You can limit the risks posed by using USB devices a variety of ways. One is to make sure your threat management systems, such as antivirus software, are updated and are set to monitor USB drives connected to your laptop or PC. To protect data on your computers and network, you can use data encryption tools or monitoring systems that log access to sensitive information. A clear policy on the acceptable and proper use of the company’s computing and network resources can help as well. Of course, the safest policy of all is to disable USB devices on company PCs and laptops altogether.
Need more information on how to manage the use of USB portable storage devices in your company? Contact us to find out how we can help.
Published on 29th June 2010 by Jeanne DeWitt.