USB drives still present an enterprise security risk

flash drive and laptop

Despite the rise of cloud storage, 87 percent of organizations still use USB drives but they are struggling to manage their usage according to a new report.

The study from encrypted drive manufacturer Apricorn reveals that 58 percent don't use port control or whitelisting software to manage USB device usage and 26 percent don't use software-based encryption.

In addition less than half of organizations (47 percent) require the deployment of encryption for data stored on the USB drive despite an overwhelming 91 percent of employees saying that encrypted USB drives should be mandatory.

Less than half of organizations (47 percent) have a lost/stolen USB drive policy in place -- compared to 50 percent in 2017. 53 percent claim their organization doesn’t have appropriate technologies to prevent or detect the download of confidential data onto USB drives, despite Apricorn's 2017 survey showing 54 percent claimed their organization did have those technologies in place.

Only 47 percent require the deployment of encryption for data stored on a USB drive, though this is an improvement on the 42 percent figure from 2017.

The report also suggests that the cloud isn't a cure-all approach answer, either. More than half (57 percent) of organizations have low-to-moderate confidence in the cloud for migration and storage of their company's most sensitive data.

"Considering the increase in volume, sophistication and severity of security threats facing organizations today, it is critical that employers arm their employees with secure USB drives to prevent highly damaging data breaches," says Mike McCandless, vice president of sales and marketing at Apricorn. "Even though 90 percent of employees use USB devices today, the fact that nearly 60 percent of employers fail to use port control or whitelisting software to manage USB device usage is alarming. Organizations should not only implement strict data security policies, but they also must reinforce that their employees use encrypted USB drives that require a unique PIN."

You can find more detail on the Apricorn site.

Photo Credit: Mario Lopes/Shutterstock

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