Among the ten major cyber threats identified by BSI in 2016, the use of portable peripheral devices ranks second. While the same agency suggests engaging in countermeasures aimed at implementing targeted procedures based on your organization’s specific structure, there seems to be no reason why companies cannot securely store their data on USB Memory Sticks.
By combining preventative techniques with an expert surveillance and detection system, your data can be stored and shared safely among approved staff members without being exposed to a high risk of cyber attack.
Decontamination Chambers & Staff Training
One of the most effective solutions in preventing the security risks associated with USB sticks is to install a decontamination lock chamber equipped with anti-virus terminals.
These can be set up at various access points to the workplace in order to verify if USB flash drives have been infected after use.
It will still be crucial, however, to effectively train your personnel on proper cybersecurity measures and take further anti-hacking measures to ensure the safety of your data.
In today’s world of big data, it is even suggested to perhaps hardwire it into the framework of your company by including a data protection aspect of your company mission and values.
If you want to instill it in your employees you can make sure it is present in job descriptions and contracts.
You can employ the use of these types of tactics in tandem with education and awareness-raising to help instill best practices.
The idea is to limit human error whenever and wherever possible in the data transfer process and prevent the risks associated with data remanence from exposing sensitive company data.
Encrypt Your Data
Encrypting USB flash drives protects the data stored on the device. Any USB drive formatted with FAT, FAT32, or NTFS can be encrypted with BitLocker and some newer models of secure USB drives have safety features such as fingerprint authentication that help protect the device and the data stored on it.
If you are going to be purchasing and using a lot of USBs as part of your daily operations, it is a great idea to invest in software that can encrypt your company’s data and combine that with the measures mentioned above.
It also goes without saying that you should make sure to keep your Internet security software up to date.
In the event you accidentally use a device that contains malware, you will be protected. If you don’t have Internet security software, you should get it, as it can protect you from a host of issues other than just USB malware.
The Verdict on USB Memory Sticks
Like any external data storage device, they are prone to certain cyber attacks and corruption. However, they are convenient and, when combined with other safety measures, can be used safely within a business.
Dedicate time and resources to establishing a surveillance and detection system as well as training your team on data protection and you will find these devices to be highly functional for many everyday uses.