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The Risks of Using Portable Drives

July 6th, 2012

Portable storage devices are pretty important in today’s day and age. You can hardly go anywhere without seeing someone or the other with a flashy hot pink one or sporting  a USB braided in between funky strings around their neck. Perhaps that’s going a bit too far but you might as well always have one in your wallet or your car dashboard. That is just how essential they have become for us that at any given time, we may feel the need for more storage.  But of course, like all things that give us some technological advantage, there are drawbacks.

Easy to Store, Easier to Lose
In the case, of portable drives, the major disadvantage comes with the concerns of privacy and security. In short, these drives are almost a sure fire way to get yourself upped with a keylogger app or some computer monitoring software or the other. And then what happens. Not only do you compromise your security with risks of losing data but also risk all your personal information falling into malicious hands.

So you should be aware of the risks that come with using these cheap and easy tools. Starting with the basics, they are pretty flimsy and can get damaged very easily. This means you need to be extra careful with them so you don’t damage them to the point of no return…which means you losing all your saved data which is usually comprised of your entire backup. But that is the obvious and physical aspect of it which you probably already know. The solution to that is to use the software backup option that most USBs come with. This way if the USB is damaged, you still have the information stored somewhere on cloud. And if not, opt for cloud data storage.

What Organizations Dread
Let us come to the more sinister side, the side that is susceptible to all sorts of dangers including malware, spyware such as computer monitoring software, bugs, Trojans and the never ending list of cyber calamities goes on. People have horror stories about free keyloggers, and even paid ones that were used to infiltrate their privacy. Just like other hard drives, CD ROMS, and floppy disks, USBs and other portable hard drives are just as targetable by virus and similar spyware risks. So for organizations, the fear that their workers can lose and mishandle information they store on portable drives in order to change work environments (for e.g, from work to home or to a remote system), is more real than any other malicious malware threat around.

To secure themselves from a nightmare scenario where things get ported out too fast and without warning, most organizations make sure they have complete virus and spyware protection solutions in place. But that’s the thing with these portable drives; threats can go completely and thoroughly undetected.   So again, what is the solution?

What Is Available
Well really no easy solution. At best, for organizations they can attempt to disable USB usage altogether. So instead of restricting USBs on premises (which is really a fallible plan), companies can use special computer monitoring software to block any one storing and transferring data via the portable device. Of course, for this, a lot of investment needs to be done on the part of the IT Department. But as the menace of data and security breach continues, it seems to be worth looking into. However, the question that raises itself is whether the future of technology can find a cheap and reasonable solution to this problem.

Author Bio
Jane Andrew is a writer and guest blogger of mobistealth with years of experience in tech industry. She loves to write about computer monitoring software and keylogger. You can also follow her on Twitter @janeandrew01 to get tip and news about cell phone.

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