USB Drive Security

IT Consulting, Security

USB Drive

Believe it or not, USB drives, or “thumb drives”, as they are called, are still a popular tool for storing data.  They are compact, lightweight, and can be easily transported.  Also, the amount of storage space has increased dramatically over the years.  However, there are some important security items for you to consider if you are using them in your organization.

Physical Security

As previously mentioned, USB drives are very easy to transport.  Some fit on a keychain, and others are thinner than a credit card.  It is very important to maintain physical security of the device, so that it does not become lost or stolen.

Do not leave them lying out in plain sight.  It is preferable to lock them in a drawer of your desk.  Never leave them unattended, and for sure, do not leave them visible in your vehicle.  That is asking for a break-in.

Encrypt Drives

What kind of data are you storing on your thumb drives?  If any of it has any personal identifiable information, or anything you consider sensitive data, then you need to encrypt your USB drives.  There is a cost effective way to do so.

Most businesses use Windows 10 Professional, and as such, you have access to Bitlocker.  Bitlocker is an encryption tool used to encrypt disk drives, to include your thumb drive.  With Bitlocker, not only does it scramble the data, but requires a password for you to “unlock” and view what is on it.  Should it ever get lost or stolen, without the passcode or encryption key, the only way to use that drive would be to format it.  Therefore, your data on that device remains safe.

Make It Policy

Another effective way of maintaining USB drive security, is to make it a part of your computer use policy.  You can have your policy state that no personal thumb drives can be used on company computers.  Also, encrypted drives will be controlled solely by your IT Department, and that the drive passwords are not to be changed.  It’s all about making personnel aware of how to use the drives, while keeping your data secure.

Need Some Help?

If you are not securing your USB drives now, but know you need a change, We are here to help out.  Call us today, so we can get a plan in place for you.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

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