USBs create security nightmare

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USB flash drives and media players are creating huge security holes for businesses, a new study has revealed.

"Removable Media in the Workplace" suggests 84 percent of companies use removable media devices, but often without security measures to protect sensitive information being leaked.

"There seems little point in companies spending vast sums of money on information security if at the same time they're letting their staff use these devices at work which allow them unhindered access to download vast quantities of sensitive company information," said Martin Allen, managing director of Pointsec which commissioned the survey. "Storing information on devices is not a new problem - not so long ago it would have been information stored onto a 1.5mb floppy disk. Organisations need to introduce strict guidelines on the use of removable media devices in the workplace."

Despite nearly all of the 300 IT professionals interviewed being aware of the dangers of mobile working most are not aware of simple procedures to protect mobile devices. Two-thirds that use USB flash drives do not encrypt their content, despite the drives containing potentially sensitive information.

Last week SC reported poor password management at companies is also creating a security risk. The report revealed many professionals still keep passwords on sticky labels.

www.pointsec.com

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