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Report Gives Thumb Drive Thumbs Down for Security

One of the biggest security threats to corporate data comes from the smallest of sources -- the ubiquitous USB flash drive, also known as the thumb drive.  According to this report released by the European Union Agency for European Network and Information Security (ENISA),  uncontrolled use of flash drives can lead to viruses or security breaches that can cost businesses thousands of dollars to correct, reports IT Wales.com.  For starters, 80 to 90 percent of USB flash drives sold to businesses were not encrypted.  Most are not stored in a secure location and consequently are easily or inadvertently lost.  Finally, despite the fact that they might contain private data, financial information, business plans or other confidential records, ENISA warns that USB flash drives are usually overlooked by corporate policies on audits, back-ups, encryption and asset management.

The ENISA Report makes 19 recommendations for best practices for use of flash drives in business.  These recommendations include better oversight of employee use of "plug and play" devices, increasing awareness of security risks and engaging in risk assessment to evaluate the costs of data leakage to a business.

How careful are you or your law firm with USB drives?  Are the potential security problems related to USB flash drives exaggerated?  If you have any horror stories that you're willing share about lost or damaged USB drives, you're welcome to post them in the comments section below.

(H/T to EDD Blog.)

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 19, 2008 at 09:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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