USB drives have made the news recently, and not for any positive reason.
At a conference in Las Vegas, a German security firm discussed how USB drives have a serious flaw in their design that could compromise not only the security of your files but also of your computing device as a whole.
As it turns out, the firmware on many USB peripherals, including different kinds of thumb drives used in the workplace, are unprotected and easily reprogrammable. Firmware is basically a type of software program installed on a hardware device that determines how it will communicate with other types of hardware.
With relative ease, USB firmware can be re-programmed in a malicious way, such that the USB device becomes a means for hackers to steal files, insert malware onto your computing devices, and even alter the firmware on your computing devices.
What’s especially scary about this malicious firmware re-programming is that it can’t really be detected or mitigated via the usual means of firewalls or anti-virus programs. People just need to be really careful about where they insert their USB drives.
Alternatives to Relying on USB drives
An important reason for why USB drives get inserted into one computer and then another and then another is that people use them to store and share files. For instance, if you’re meeting up with clients and want to show them some files, you may bring along your USB drive to the meeting and insert it into their computer – even though you really don’t know if their computer has been compromised.
It may be time for you to consider using various cloud services to store and share files instead of relying heavily on USB drives. On the cloud, you can easily determine the level of access people have to different files you’ve stored and can share it with them. (You also don’t face the risk of losing your USB drive or having it stolen.)
The leading IT service provider in Los Angeles will help you come up with effective and secure cloud computing solutions for your business needs. Contact us to find out more about file sharing and storage options on the cloud.