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The Threats Imposed on Data by USB Flash Drives

by anonymous

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Who in the world is unaware of the recent data theft by Edward Snowden from the NSA (National Security Agency). Edward Snowden has stolen the extremely confidential information from the system of the National Security Agency and exposed it to the world’s media. The interesting fact is that, he did not perform any ninja action to steal the data; it has been just like a walk in the park for him. He was equipped with no hi-tech tool but the extremely common USB flash drive. He just plugged his USB flash drive in the computer and fetched the data out which he intended to steal. This incident once again brought the USB flash drive in the focus of the news and once again highlighted the threats that are imposed to your data because of this wonderful invention. The USB memory sticks haunt our data in the following ways.

The deed that is done by Edward Snowden tops the list, which means the insider threat. The internal employees of the company are more likely to steal data using the USB flash drive. The businesses allow the employees to carry data home so that they can work from home using their own device and increase the output. This principle is known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). There is no difficulty to the employees at all who want to steal data and then use that for their own good. As the companies have no check and balance of how many USB drives are being plugged into the system, who is using which device, what data the employees are accessing, these all are the factors which are proving worse for the organizations.

USB flash drives are getting better and better as with every day passing by and providing greater convenience. But, still, the convenience is not so convenient. Employees tend to save confidential and sensitive information in their USB flash drives that is almost of the size of a human thumb. It is quite obvious that keeping such a small device would be a tough task. The USB flash drives are prone to getting lost or stolen; these lost or stolen USB jump drives are likely to spill the sensitive data out. Using data security software that can password protect USB can save your data saved in the USB flash drives from getting leaked.

Cyber criminals use USB drives as a tool of spreading viruses. They store mal programs in the jump drives and then drop in parking lots and other public places where that USB stick can get the attention of the people. According to a study, even the 78 percent  security experts admitted that they have plugged in an alien USB drive which they found lying somewhere around. These small portable data storing devices are responsible for more than quarter of the viruses that spread and infect the computers.

The best way to avoid such data breaches is to restrict employees from using their own portable drives, equip the USB drive with proper security tools and avoid plugging in alien USB sticks. Any incident of data breach can harm you a lot financially as well as your reputation. Keep yourself educated with the security threats and keep your data safe.


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