USB Jump Drives – Friends or Foes?

They are found virtually everywhere, and they can be easy to spot, like the classic USB stick drive, or they can be hidden within other objects, such as within pens, nick knacks, desktop items and even jewelry.

While convenient for transporting files home to work on, or for sharing files and photos with friends, these USB drives pose a serious risk for employers. Ill-willed employees could simply copy confidential files, such as client lists, trade secrets, employee information o even the accounting files, right onto a concealed USB jump drive, and take the information with them.

Company policies should state that all company information is proprietary and remains the property of the company. No personal possession, copying, transferring, or downloading is permitted for any reason. All employees should be required to sign both a confidentiality agreement as well as an acknowledgment for receiving the company’s policies regarding company information. The signing of the forms will act both as a deterrent as well as allow for enforcement in the event company information is diverted.

USB jump drives should be prohibited, and the company’s IT policies and procedures should ensure that all files are regularly backed up. Using USB jump drives as a permanent backup solution will cause you headaches when the drives fail, and they do fail at a high rate when used frequently.

If needed, the USB ports on employee computers can be disabled, preventing employees from making illegal copies of company information via USB.

If you don’t know what these drives look like, or worse in what objects these drives are available (concealed), you should spend a few minutes searching images on the Internet – you will be amazed where these drives are turning up.

Protect your company’s valuable assets.

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