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Nice USB stick you have there - where's the encryption?

Computerworld Singapore staff | Feb. 21, 2012
The old security chestnut of lost USB sticks is back in the news again, with reports of a stick containing a safety assessment of a nuclear power plant in North-East England going walkabout from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

And even where the total cost ownership (TCO) issue is considered to be of paramount importance in an organisation, high level encryption is now the standard way of protecting data in most firms, even when that data is carried around on a USB stick.

"Our observations suggest that you will be hard-pressed to stop USB stick incidents from taking place, owing to their ubiquity. As long as people can buy these devices for a few pounds at their local supermarket, they will continue to be a headache for IT managers," he said.

"What is not a headache, however, is the ease with which encryption and allied security technologies can be deployed to ensure that any information taken from a network asset is automatically encrypted whatever the format used. Furthermore the added benefit of being able to wipe data remotely is also a huge plus. And when you factor in the ease with which ancillary security technologies - such as content and endpoint security - can be deployed, it's something of a no-brainer to install and use them," he added.



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