Sticking it to the Stick – The Danger of USB Drives

Jennifer Noto Compliance Leave a Comment

Years ago, USB drives were the best thing since sliced bread. The USB drive offered the convenience of extra storage that also served as a means of quickly moving files from one computer to another. It was a game-changer in terms of storage and saving files. No more saving to floppy disks and burning to CDs; just stick in your USB drive and save your files.

Enter the age of network security and compliance.

Remember when the American Dental Association unknowingly sent malware-infected USB drives to dental offices across the U.S.? Or when IBM shipped malware-infected flash drives to their customers? USB drives are just another way for these issues to manifest on your computers and your network. Inserting one even for 5 seconds can cause more damage than you realize. In those 5 seconds, malware can infect your machine and eradicate your files.

Consider what would happen if a USB drive that had your company or personal information was lost or stolen. You’ve lost the data, you’ve risked losing the trust of your patients and customers, and you’re legitimately accountable for the loss. Your Company is legally responsible for protecting Personably Identifiable Information (PII) of their customers. Additionally, if your company handles Health Information, HIPAA penalties exist for healthcare data breaches when providers are not compliant with securing their protected health information (PHI) data.

There are better ways to share or store your files that don’t involve USB drives. If you’re looking to store some files or share them with others to access, Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive are good options. When it comes to your company files or files that contain personal information that you can’t afford to have compromised, consider using a secure file-sharing service such as File Sync to ensure your files are only accessed by specific people in a secure manner. It’s also important to back up your files. Secure backups are another way to protect your data and minimize your risk for a breach.

For more information on how to be compliant with your data, contact us today.

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