USB storage devices pose a major security risk

USB storage devices pose a major security risk

Staff have a loose grasp on USB thumb sticks, according to new research

According to research published today by Centennial Software, UK staff have as loose a grasp on their USB devices as they do on the policies that relate to them.

The firm said that almost two-thirds of respondents admitted to having lost their portable USB storage devices at some time. And two-thirds of this group admitted that the thumb sticks they misplaced had contained critical business information.

Centennial said many people probably viewed USB devices as “disposable”. “This perception … is a massive risk to organisations’ business data. Losing control of a USB stick containing company secrets, even if only for a couple of hours, creates a serious risk of data leakage, ID theft and malware propagation,” said Matt Fisher, vice-president of Centennial Software in a statement.

Centenial works with firms to create security policies to deal with, and prevent, such security breaches. “Data theft is a serious issue,” warned Fisher, “Employers need to manage this risk, and control what is being plugged into the network and by whom.”