The hits just keep on coming…

Posted by: on Aug 8, 2011 | No Comments

When it comes to extolling the virtues of USB flash drives that incorporate automatic hardware encryption and mandatory password protection, it just gets easier and easier with each passing day. That’s because every day, seemingly, there is a headline somewhere in the world that essentially does this job for us.
The hits keep on coming, ladies and gentlemen. When it comes to the overwhelming risk potential of unencrypted and non-password protected USB flash drives, you don’t have to take our word for it… All you have to do is read a few headlines in the Business section or take a superficial look at any of the online tech-zines.

UK Police Loses Highly-Sensitive Information

Late last week, for instance, police in the UK reported that sensitive, personal information regarding an ongoing criminal investigation was stored on a USB flash drive that was stolen from a police officer’s home in Oldham, UK. According to the original BBC News report, the stolen flash drive likely did not feature password protection (which would imply that it also did not make use of automatic encryption) and may have contained highly-sensitive personal information.

The Greater Manchester Police responded, predictably, by reporting the incident and suspending the officer involved and ordering officers to immediately put an end to the usage of unencrypted USB memory sticks. But, to us, the response of the Greater Manchester Police is just too little too late, and further highlights the need for a much more pro-active movement by organizations and agencies that deal in the handling and processing of sensitive data.

Organizations Fail To Take Action Until It’s Too Late

At BlockMaster, we obviously place a great amount of emphasis on our SafeConsole system because of its ability to provide – from a quantitative risk analysis perspective – central management solutions for business that save money and increase data security and control. But, sometimes, brass tacks – in the form of automatically-encrypted hardware – are just as important.

The fact that a law enforcement agency anywhere in the world (let alone, the UK) would allow its employees to make non-secure copies of files on unencrypted flash drives, given the current climate, seems unforgivable. But, in reality, it points to the fact (as do all the top 40 hits we hear about, and headlines we read, every week regarding non-secure USB devices) that many organizations have yet to come to grips with the severity of the non-secure flash drive problem.

For many of these organizations, they will not take circumstances like these seriously until they are the ones who making the news due to a massive data breach. How unfortunate…

Avoid Bad Press Easily

If you prefer to stay far away from Bad Press, you will be more pro-active to ensure that your organization has initiated the proper policies and procedures regarding hardware encryption and mandatory password protection. Had the Greater Manchester Police done so and had they, as well, implemented SafeConsole, they could have easily and remotely killed the device and further side-stepped the Bad Press with a simple release stating that all flash sticks used by their personnel feature automatic hardware encryption.

Now, more than ever, it is of utmost importance that the USB memory devices you are using within your organization work with automatic hardware encryption and mandatory password protection. There is, simply, no excuse these days for being lax when it comes to seriously considering the need for technology that better ensures, not only efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but enhanced privacy control and security of data, as well.

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