Everyone agrees that your USB drive is the ideal option for storing as well as for transferring data from one place to the next. People use these drives to store data that is confidential as well as information that is personal in nature that can include letters, videos, family photos, music files and more. Sometimes people need to transfer these things from one computer to another one. These little storage devices are also great for when you are traveling.
But, how do you secure them?
Secure USB is not your average USB storage device. Yes, it will store your files, but it also has physical security on it. There is a keypad on the outside of the USB drive and if you want to access the drive, you need to enter a personalized, encrypted PIN before you plug the drive into the USB port in your computer. Locking it is simple too since it locks as soon as you remove it from the computer. Oh, and it is compatible with nearly any operating system as well as any device that has a USB port. This includes printers.
Yes, you can save all of your stuff to the cloud and access it from any computer you like. This is true. The cloud also has its own security advantages and disadvantages. Aside from that, to access the cloud, you will need to have an active internet connection. When you use a USB drive, you don’t.
According to CBS News, your normal USB is a huge security risk in itself. They say that it is possible for your device to act like a keyboard and then issue commands such as installing malware or stealing files. They further that by saying that a USB device can act as if it is a network card and change the actual domain name setting of the computer in order to redirect your traffic. They can also infect any connected computers while they are booting up and before antivirus tools can do their jobs.
USB drives are extensively used across the planet. Because of this, securing the data they hold is a critical issue for us all. The reason is that due to the small size of a USB drive, they are easily lost and/or stolen. You can also forget them when you take them and use them somewhere.
Recent studies have shown that the cost of breaches of privacy and loss of data due to lost or stolen USBs has reached an astonishing $3 million. All of this just emphasizes the fact that we need to find a way to secure them.
If you want a simple way to protect them, you can opt to go with a password type of protection. This isn’t complicated and there are third party programs that will allow you to password protect not just the files on your USB, but the drive itself.
Securing your USB also means keeping it safe from viruses. If you want to stop malware from spreading through your flash drives, you need to scan each and every file that is copied or saved to the drive. Aside from that, the PC you will be connecting to also needs to be scanned when the drive is connected. This means that you need an anti-virus program on the drive itself so that when you connect it to your Windows PC, the memory will be scanned and transfer of infected files to the drive will be stopped. If there is an infection on the host, a secure USB flash drive will automatically shut down. Files that are transferred from the PC to the drive also need to be scanned.
There are actually multiple tiers at which USB security can be deployed, and when you do this, it is possible to make sure that your data and your networks are protected against viruses, as well as losses, while you also retain the flexibility of the drives for those who are authorized to use them. Yes, security does come with a price, but what is that compared to the cost of what having information lost or stolen would be?