In A Connected World, A Corporate BYOD Strategy Eliminates The USB Drive

The USB flash drive is the splinter in the hands of many corporations. A USB drive is used by end users to bridge a gap in the mobility of data. Bridging that gap without impeding productivity is possible with the correct alignment of corporate strategy and technology.

Ask someone where their cell phone, laptop or tablet is they can tell you immediately. Ask them about their USB drive it takes a little more thinking. Data breaches due to the loss of a USB flash drive are happening daily. With most BYOD and corporate devices they are network connected in some shape or form. The USB flash drive has outlived its purpose in a corporate environment. 
The USB drive also known as a thumb drive or external hard drives are the equivalent to yesterdays floppy drive but with more storage capacity. This storage capacity opens many organizations to the loss of intellectual property or personal information.  IT organizations have policies that allow their use if encrypted.  Having a policy and being able to enforce it are two different things. This is almost never the case with the responsibility placed on the end user. End users may be technology aware but not technically savvy. A selling point for end users the USB drive is  a “plug and play” device but enablement of the encryption isn’t.  

Regulatory compliance such as HIPAA is helping to raise awareness about the management of information.  Organization regardless of the industry have to take the first step of enacting a business policy that enforces this behavior. There is always an exception to the norm and in a corporate environment a business case can demonstrate its use. HRDC is an example where they enacted this type of policy due to data loss . The except below from the article Federal government loses hard drive with information on more than half a million people is an example:

Employees at HRSDC are no longer permitted to use portable hard drives and unapproved USB keys are not to be connected to the network. The department will also conduct an immediate risk assessment of all portable security devices to ensure “appropriate safeguards” are in place.

As most BYOD and corporate devices are network connected there are alternative strategies that address this. Corporate policy cannot be addressed with tactical technology solutions.  When each works independently an impact to productivity occurs. Data sharing as well as user and application management are part of an integrated secure solution.  It is time for the USB drive to go.


About donjduncan

Application/Technology Sales Engineer: BYOD,Cloud,Virtualization,Application Transformation,Mobility,Process,and Automation. Currently looking for new opportunities. Linkedin: Twitter: donjduncan
This entry was posted in byod, cio, cloud computing, consumer, Productivity, Security and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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