Cyber Aware Top Tip #4 – Removeable Media

Although cloud storage is a popular method of holding data, there are still physical products which are used by many people to store and transfer their information. Items like USB sticks, SD cards & external hard drives are good examples of portable devices and we don’t suspect that they’ll be disappearing any time soon due to their versatile nature both inside and outside of the workplace.

However there is a danger to removable media, especially if you don’t know where the item has come from, or you’re unsure about who may have used it in your absence. But exactly how wrong can things go?

Spread of Malware – if you don’t monitor and control your media, you are at an increased risk of introducing malware to your business systems.

Information Loss – if the portable media is lost whilst out and about, you are open to compromising company data and losing important, sensitive client information.

Financial Loss – you may face fines/penalties if the information lost is irreplaceable or of a sensitive matter to your clients.

You may be thinking that these things are highly unlikely to happen to you. But cyber criminals are intelligent. One way criminals introduce malware into companies is called ‘Baiting’, which is where they might leave a USB stick or similar in a busy place, such as a cafe. The rest then relies on human psychology and curiosity, where someone will pick it up & take it away with them and eventually will be used on a computer or laptop. As soon as it’s plugged in, the malware is on its way through your systems.

What can you do to stop things from going wrong?

Cloud Storage – As previously mentioned, a popular alternative to physical portable media devices is the cloud. It’s accessible anywhere, and you can’t lose it at the local pub.

Password Protection – To protect sensitive information in the case of a loss of a device, you should ensure it is password protected to act as a deterrent for someone who may have found it.

Lonely Devices – never leave your removable media unattended, lock it away when you’re not using it to avoid undesirables accessing it. Also, never attempt to access files from a device which you have found. It can contain malware which can infect your business systems.

Scan Media – it’s a good idea to have a process in place where media devices are scanned after a certain amount of time, or if there is suspicion surrounding that device. Any devices bought in from other companies should also be scanned for malware too.

Download your poster now

We have created posters to help keep your workforce educated, click here to download the one about using removeable devices. We recommend this is printed on A3 in full colour and displayed across the workplace. If you would like a complete set of the posters delivered by Royal mail please fill out the contact form here and use the subject POSTERS.