USB flash drives are handy little devices that can cause big security headaches. Even with robust datasecurity policies USBdrives often fall thru the cracks (and out of pockets). These flash drives are often used by employees for both personal and business use which could potentially spread a virus from a home PC to the corporate network.
Additionally, lost USB drives among other devices with storage can cause even bigger headaches resulting in data breaches. A survey by a U.K.-based company found that last year, 4,500 USB flash drives were forgotten in the pockets of clothes left at the dry cleaners and thousands more handheld devices were left in the back seats of taxis.
Computerworld reports a 2007 survey by Ponemon of 893 individuals who work in corporate IT showed that:USB memory sticks are often used to copy confidential or sensitive business information and transfer the data to another computer that is not part of the company’s network or enterprise system. The survey showed 51% of respondents said they use USB sticks to store sensitive data, 57% believe others within their organization routinely do it and 87% said their company has policies against it.
Flash drives can be a security mess. Organizations need to have business security policies in place requiring secure flash drives and never plugging a found stray catinto the network either.
Ensure all data stored on a secure flash drive is encrypted. TrueCrypt is a software system for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage device). On-the-fly encryption means that data is automatically encrypted right before it is saved and decrypted right after it is loaded, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without using the correct password/keyfile(s) or correct encryption keys.