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Risk Associated With USB Memory Sticks and High Capacity Storage Devices

Protection when using USB Memory Sticks against data loss, theft or corruption

Advances in USB technology have introduced a number of convenient and physically very small devices that can store vast amounts of data. Removable USB storage media have become a very popular PC hardware technology. Users have found the small physical size, along with the large storage space, to be extremely convenient and easy to use. However, with this ease of use and universal connectivity of USB devices, there is now a growing risk to companies and their clients through the use and misuse of USB storage devices.

The biggest risk posed to companies is the theft of data by disgruntled employees or recovering data from lost, stolen and misplaced USB storage devices. There are a number of methods and technologies that are available for companies to protect their data from unauthorised access. These methods include; restricted usage or disabling of USB ports and devices; encryption of USB storage drives; restricting access to vital files and limiting the size of data transferable to USB storage devices.

Other risks include viruses and USB media corruption. Viruses can being introduced onto company networks through USB devices. Other risks include viruses and USB media corruption. These can be mitigated through desktop firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and up-to-date anti-virus solutions. Media corruption can be mitigated through policy enforcement.


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