USB Flash Drive Security: Make Sure Your Portable Data is Protected 15 Feb 2021
These days it would be a shock to see a business employee and other working professionals without a USB flash drive. They’ve become a part of our lives, transporting data from work to home. While it is beneficial that we can store and transfer large amounts of data in them, it also makes them a target for malicious people.
One of the most prominent USB-related cyber attacks occurred in 2008, in the US military. A malware-containing USB flash drive infected a network and leaked sensitive information. This cyber-attack was eye-opening for businesses worldwide for the importance of protecting USB flash drives and their networks.
However, IT assets are always developing, and so are damaging malware. It is crucial that we are continually working to protect data on USB flash drives so third-parties can not access that information, and the devices cannot be used to infiltrate networks.
USB Security Risks
A USB flash drive has the potential to spread malware across a network of computers and cause havoc for your business. Often, this can be done without the USB owner even realising it has originated from their portable device. This infiltration can be possible because USB flash drives may become a security threat for any of the following reasons: when an employee plugs in an unknown USB drive into their computer, a stolen or lost USB drive ends up in the wrong hands, or an employee leaves the business and takes a USB drive with business-related data.
Many companies have started to ban USB drives altogether in the hope of reducing the risk of a cyber attack or security threat. However, the team at Global EMEA knows that there is no need to take such extremes. Instead, you can improve your USB flash drive security to help reduce the risk of your business’ data falling into the wrong hands by making sure you use market-leading data-deletion software.
USB Flash Drive Security
The first thing you should do when discussing flash drive security is to involve your employees in any discourse. Educating employees around the risks of USB flash drives can reduce the likelihood of a security threat. Talk to employees about never plugging in a USB device they are unsure about and clicking on files which could unknowingly have threats hiding within them.
Sometimes it could be beneficial to have a set of rules around USB use within the office. One of these rules could be only to use USB devices provided by the company. This will help ensure everyone knows how to use USB flash drives safely to protect company data.
Software Encrypted USB Drives
The next best thing you can do to protect company data is to use encrypted devices. Most businesses already understand the importance of encrypted devices, but may not have extended this to USB flash drives. There are several ways to ensure that all USB flash drives are encrypted:
- You can purchase hardware-encrypted USB flash drives for your employees.
- You can install encryption software on existing USB flash drives for employees.
- You could use open-source encryption programmes such as VeraCrypt which is highly secure and HIPAA compliant.
- You can allow only software encrypted USB flash drives to store and transfer company data.
- You could implement company software which only worked with approved flash drives.
Use Global EMEA for Data Security
We know that one way to guarantee your USB flash drive security and data protection is through data-deletion and data wiping. Data security can be a complicated process that needs to be monitored throughout the year; by keeping this updated, you can minimise the chances of cyber-attacks.
We are proud to be partnered with WhiteCanyon Software Inc., a leading security software provider. When your employees are finished using a USB, perhaps because they have moved on from the company, simply ensuring this USB does not fall into the wrong hands is not enough. The next step in USB flash drive security is to use secure media sanitisation software to clear any remaining data. This is where our partners come in.
WhiteCanyon’s software is the only data destruction software to be successfully evaluated to the EAL 2+ Standard. This standard of certification is required by the US Department of Defense, Department of State and Homeland Security, making it more than capable of taking care of your USB data deletion requirements. By wiping all the data from retired USB flash drives, you can guarantee to 100% surety that all data, sensitive and confidential, has been entirely removed from the device.
For a more in-depth chat about how we can support your business’ data protection needs, then get in contact with us today. By working with Global, you can tailor your IT management package to suit your needs as we understand that each business is different. Whether you require hardware, software or network support, need network and system monitoring, or expect backups and disaster recovery systems, our experts can help.