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News

High Usage Levels of Unencrypted Removable Storage Remains in USA

Origin Storage : 07 April, 2010  (Technical Article)
Origin Storage reports on the continued high percentage of workers in America who use unencrypted USB storage devices for casual transfer of corporate data and thus posing serious risk of data loss
Research just released in the US claims to show that three quarters of workers are now saving corporate data on unencrypted USB sticks - a percentage that poses a severe risk to firms on the data leakage front, says Andy Cordial, managing director of Origin Storage, the storage systems integration specialist.

'If the results of this survey from Applied Research-West are extrapolated to the UK, the potential consequences are horrendous, especially with the massive new penalties for breaches of the Data Protection Act that start on April 6,' he said.

'And when you break down the figures to show that 25 per cent of saved USB stick data covers customer records, 17 per cent financial information and 15 per cent company business plans, you start to realise the real risk that companies are running with unencrypted mobile data,' he added.

According to Cordial, whilst full disk encryption on laptops is an option that many organisations are exploring, this can be overkill for most situations, especially where the employee is using the portable device to take work home or out into the field.

A far more effective solution is to store the confidential information on a portable encrypted drive in the office environment, and then, when the need to take the data away from the office, the portable unit is easily transportable.

And, the Origin Storage MD went on to say, as the just-reported Barnet Council data loss incident - in which the data records of 9,000 school children have been stolen in an unencrypted format - clearly shows, there is a definite need for encrypted portable storage in most organisations.

'Devices such as our own Data Locker Pro series which protects information on an encrypted portable drive, and is further defended using PIN security, are an ideal solution that meets all regulatory needs,' he said.

'And since they are highly secure, they can integrate well with company security policies when it comes to securing data against prying eyes,' he added.
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