The first two findings of the survey, in offering what seem to be opposing ideas regarding USB drives, speak volumes about the dynamic nature of flash devices and the perceived pros and cons that come with their use.
The No. 1 finding in the survey is that USB drives are considered the biggest data breach risk factor. More than 60 percent of those questioned said that if they were to take a substantial amount of information from an employer, they would use a flash drive to do so. The No. 2 finding, nevertheless, is that USB drives are a valued workplace productivity tool.
The question is obligatory. How is it that the two most prominent findings of a survey can seem to directly contradict one another?
I once heard a wiser man than myself say something to the effect of, “Your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.” The purpose of this post is not to examine the major tenets of Eastern thought, but if you bear with me I will expound: what makes the USB drive such a powerful work tool in terms of productivity – most specifically, ease, convenience and speed of use – is, in fact, the very same set of features that make the USB drive attractive to those who would try and steal large amounts of information from their employers and distribute them for personal gain. So, the biggest advantage to using USB drives would appear to be their biggest con, as well.
Security Risk vs. Productivity Tool
According to the survey – which also found that 25 percent of men in management positions think it is alright to take information when leaving a job – the assumed ‘chore’ of IT managers will be to address the seemingly conflicted perceptions. Striking a balance between the USB drive as a security risk vs. a productivity tool would seem to be, on the surface, a daunting task. But in reality (and as is usually the case), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
A company might not ever be able to gauge with any kind of real certainty whether an employee has the capacity to commit a damaging insider breach. People can be hard to predict. But, with technologies, advances and innovations that are available right now, today, corporations certainly can guarantee, without question, that solutions can be implemented which will reduce the possibility of an insider using a USB drive to commit such an offense.
SafeConsoleReady secure USB drives can take the danger out of the use of flash devices, meaning that corporations – in prohibiting the use of non-secure USB drives – can rely on USB drives for all of the beneficial features while greatly diminishing the potential for misuse.