This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

All consumers own a USB stick but most do not know the content of them

Share this article:

An online survey of 229 consumers has found that all have at least one USB stick but half could not remember what they had saved on a device.

It found that 54 per cent of people had between three and six sticks, while a fifth (21 per cent) owned as many as ten, or even more. Also, 34 per cent admitted they did not know where all their USB devices are at any given time, while ten per cent admitted to losing a USB device containing corporate data, yet 76 per cent never reported the loss to their bosses.

Bob Heard, chief executive officer and founder of Credant, who conducted the survey, said: “Companies are spending millions on their security and it could all be in vain if they fail to close this basic area of vulnerability. If they have a workforce that are using USB storage media, blissfully unaware of the potential mayhem that these ubiquitous devices could potentially cause, no matter how much is spent the enterprise will never be secure.

“These small USB sticks can be, and often are, easily lost or stolen, thus leaving data, and those responsible for protecting that data, vulnerable.

“Many organisations are either failing to take the problem seriously or to implement and enforce the right security, work practices and education for their users to address this problem. Unsecured data on removable media is a significant and growing concern and organisations need to start planning now on how to close this vulnerability before they suffer a very expensive and embarrassing breach.”

Colin Williams, networking and security practice leader at Computacenter, said: “We can ask how many USB sticks do you have and ask what is on them? But you do not know and you end up with many and when they are lost, there is no way of realising and you do not realise that you have lost it.

“It is not encrypted, you give it to your kids who then put it into their computer and find a confidential file. This is the biggest concern and can conflict with policy, but the simple thing is to say not to do it.”

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

Hundreds of companies face 2,000 cyber-attacks in EU exercise

Hundreds of companies face 2,000 cyber-attacks in EU ...

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) conducted a 24-hour cyber-exercise in which more than 200 organisations from 25 EU member states faced virtual cyber-attacks from white hat hackers ...

Cyber security still a learning curve for most companies

Cyber security still a learning curve for most ...

Poor network visibility, outdated security tools, a skills shortage and a lack of control in the cloud are just some of the reasons companies are struggling with cyber-security, say two ...

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role in £6 million scheme

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role ...

An Estonian man, who helped hack payment processor RBS WorldPay in 2008, has now been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his involvement in the £5.9 (US$ 9.4 million) ...