Progress in new technology, driven by the autumn in Nand Flash value, has led to a number of small devices that can hold a significant amount of data. The machine 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 a fantastic pal to businesses over the previous few years, making it quick and easy to transfer data from one machine to a different and to carry work dwelling to finish without needing to haul round a heavy laptop. However, with flash drives being able to hold ever growing quantities of data and switch data sooner than ever, USB flash drives are being looked at by some corporations as one of their biggest threats to security.

The use of USB Flash Drives in enterprise poses three classes 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 pc virus may totally wipe out a company’s IT infrastructure and delete their most essential files, if the company hasn’t an efficient data backup this could ruin it; if an organization holds sensitive info and loses it, the company could possibly be discovered to have broken the DPA and could get fined a crippling sum of cash, not to point out the damage to its fame; if a sales particular person walks out with your whole shoppers database and provides it to his new firm you’re going to lose at least a few customers.

Fortuitously there are some solutions out there to reduce the possibilities of companies being a sufferer of one of many sad situations talked about above.

1. Removal of USB ports – The removal of USB ports is a slightly extreme response to this potential risk and is commonly a practically tough one to implement, a lot of companies use USB ports for their mice and keyboards and these would all need to be changed.

2. Encryption of USB Drives – Encryption on USB Flash Drive can take one among two kinds either a hardware encryption or software encryption. Forms of hard ware inscription might embrace only permitting access to the USB Flash Drive after the person has authenticated his or her authority utilizing a password, encryption certificates or biometric authentication (most commonly finger print recognition however sometimes also retina recognition). The encryption of storage media can be managed through software examples are Microsoft’s Active Directory and Novell’s eDirectory, both could be set up to use certificates to data held on USB Flash Drives.

3. Prohibit access to essential files on critical servers – As with all company info access needs to be given on a must basis and taken away from workers as soon as they now not want that access: if you’re going to give somebody their notice is it value letting them have access while they sit it out?

4. Monitor access of company workers to sensitive files – Just because your workers have access to the data doesn’t suggest they’ve ant rights to do with as they please. Monitoring their behaviour with sensitive data is the best way to spot any uncommon sample and may give you time to act and stop any possible data leaks.

5. Limit size of data transferred to USB drives- Data transfer 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 dimension limit merely must be set to the size of the smallest sensitive files.

6. Enforce USB Flash Drive insurance policies – Enforcing USB Flash Drive Insurance policies can go an extended way to reducing the risk of unintentional loss of data, policies alone aren’t likely to cease a disgruntled worker from doing any damage. Listed below are some policies you might need to consider: USB Flash Drives ought to 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 switchred to USB flash drives without prior consent type a manager.

7. Firepartitions and Anti viruses – Viruses could be contracted from USB Flash Drives just as they can be contracted from any other type of media. To keep yourself safe make positive you might have the latest updates put in for whichever antivirus software you use.

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