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Workers continue to use unsecure methods when it comes to portable devices

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If a mystery USB stick was found, 76 per cent of workers would plug it into company PCs.

A survey of over 1,000 UK office workers by BlockMaster warned that these workers risk compromising corporate network security with this attitude. Anders Kjellander, CSO at BlockMaster, warned that this statistic was alarming as many viruses on USB sticks can run as soon as they are plugged into a PC.

“Indeed, the Stuxnet worm, the first ‘industrial' virus, was well-known for spreading via unsecure USB sticks. Furthermore, even if unprotected USB sticks are not infected with viruses or worms, they can contain sensitive corporate data, leaking important information to external organisations causing harm for the party that lost the device,” he said.

The research also found that a fifth of those surveyed had lost unprotected USB drives holding sensitive information, while 85 per cent of lost USB sticks were later found.

Kjellander said: “Organisations need to put technology and policies in place to secure and remotely manage their USB devices. A lost unsecured and unmanaged USB stick can contain sensitive data including customer details, or in the case of public sector organisations: details of patient records, benefits or tax details.

“So it is imperative that organisations put in place a managed secure USB drive solution that automatically protects stored data and allows administrators to centrally manage them to perform policy updates and remotely erase any lost device.”

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