Are Portable Storage Devices A Threat To Businesses

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					The Main threat of Portable Storage
  Devices is two-fold:
 First, the Introduction of unauthorized
  software; at best a copy of WinZip, at
  worst an installation of a virus.
 The second concern is the unauthorized
  Removal of firm data from the network.
In either case, both concerns are augmented by
   the fact that the devices themselves are
   relatively small and sometimes not easily
   recognized as a data storage device and
   many, if not most, organizations have no
   formal policy governing the use of such
   devices on their networks.
Many companies have taken steps to mitigate this
  in their environments.
 The first step logically is to define a specific
  policy that provides guidelines for acceptable
  use of portable storage devices on firm
  computers.
One must take into account that the portability of
  the devices can make them prone to theft or
  misplacement as well.
   The second step would be to establish a
    security policy that should also incorporate
    elements of general security awareness. Users
    may then think twice about putting
    confidential information on a portable storage
    device and leaving it unattended at their desk
    or in their coat pocket.
A new survey by the Mobile Access Study found
  that:
 61.5% of memory stick owners use their
  devices to transfer data to their PC.
 53% to their laptop.

 5% to their games console.

 5% to their MP3 Players.

 2.6% to their Smartphone or Blackberry.
According to the statistics, it shows that memory
  sticks are becoming increasingly important,
  providing individuals with flexibility over
  where and how they work in addition to
  reducing overhead and personal equipment
  costs, such as personal printers.
“The growing transformations in the market for
  highly portable devices, where they facilitate the
  rapid transfer of data, raises serious questions
  about the opportunities for the liberation of
  corporate data, the potential for the transfer of
  destructive viruses and the serious threat of
  identity fraud following the loss of theft of such
  devices carrying personal details,” stated Michael
  Hulme, director of the Centre for the Study of
  Media, Technology and Changes.
“With the cost of these removable media devices
  being constantly driven down individuals are
  failing to make the connection between the
  value of the data stored on such devices and
  the level of care that needs to be taken to secure
  it,” says Neil Larkins, director of Reflex
  Magnetics.
   http://www.gfi.com/whitepapers/threat-posed-
    by-portable-storage-devices.pdf (PDF)

   http://sharp-ideas.net/ideas/2006/01/24/sharp-
    ideas%E2%80%99-slurp-audit-exposes-threat-of-
    portable-storage-devices-for-corporate-data-theft/

   http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/mah
    /the-threat-posed-by-usb-storage-
    devices/?cs=16426
   Small storage devices are         Some Flash Drives don’t
    inexpensive, ubiquitous,           even look like flash drives
    easy to use—and easy to            at all, coming in
    lose. If you are holding           customizable shapes and
    important data—like                designs, making it hard to
    financial reports—for a            notice when someone is
    company you work for on            carrying one.
    a flash drive, the risk of
    someone else getting a
    hold of it is high. Certain
    measures need to be taken
    to protect all kinds of data
    on computers and
    networks.
   Mobile storage devices a threat to business. (2006).
    Website: http://www.scmagazineus.com/Mobile-
    storage-devices-a-threat-to-business/article/33803/
   Portable Storage Devices Invite Big Problems. (2006).
    Website: http://searchcio-
    midmarket.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid18
    3_gci1178350,00.html#
   Portable Storage Devices: Cool Tool or Covert Threat?.
    (2005). Website:
    http://www.iltanet.org/MainMenuCategory/Archives/
    PeertoPeerArchives/May2005/PortableStorageDevices
    CoolToolorCovertThreat.aspx