A monitoring and auditing system has been launched by 3ami to enable businesses to view and audit employee usage of USB devices on company computers.

MAS v7 also captures and securely stores a record of all user activity on every application, including email, word processing, spreadsheet applications, instant messaging and online. It also prevents the downloading of confidential company files onto personal USB sticks and removing them from the premises without permission.

The company also claimed that it ensures that only authorised employees use official USB memory sticks, which can be encrypted with biometric fingerprint-scanning authentication to ensure that the data on the USB stick cannot be accessed by anyone except its authorised user.

Each memory stick is audited so that leaks and losses can be traced back to the original culprit. Certain users can be restricted so that no USB devices will work for them, and certain users can be authorised to use any USB storage device on any computer.

The software can be used to block all USB storage devices, such as cameras, flash drives, mobile phones and iPods.

Tim Ellsmore, managing director of 3ami, said: “In the event of wrong-doing, it is essential to know, with certainty, which employee did the wrong-doing. If you don't monitor your network, you are saying that you do not take responsibility and accountability seriously. If something goes wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself.”