The storage capacity of flash drives keeps on increasing nowadays. This encourages people to store more data without thinking about the possible consequences. The problem is that when the number of confidential files in these storage devices increases, the associated damages caused by unauthorized access and file mishandling increase as well. So no matter what kind of files your non encrypted flash drive contains, as long as they are confidential and critical to your business or job, then you should have some security mechanisms to ensure their safety.
The threats on your files increase especially when your flash drive is lost. In this case, the person who finds your flash drive will have the freedom to do what he wants. You might be lucky and the drive be returned to you, but you should also anticipate the worst scenarios. Evil people may extort money from you especially if the files are really important and confidential. Also, there is no guarantee that the files are not copied before the flash drive is returned to you and these duplicate copies can result in damages and problems later on.
But with the help of reliable hardware security, there is an assurance that your data is safe from unauthorized access and other data misuse. An example of a security mechanism on hardware is a pin code. The common protocol in using pin code is that a computer will never know that a flash drive is plugged into it unless the correct security code is entered. So it will be impossible for hackers to access the files if their computer does not even know of the flash drive’s existence.
Hackers may attempt to manually enter your code, but this will take some time because they will still have to guess the correct combination and manually enter the code through the buttons. Some devices limit the number of incorrect attempts and then delete the pin and data.
Remember that flash drives are small gadgets, so there is a huge chance that they will be misplaced or lost. It is a fact that you will have no control on these devices if someone already got them, so your flash drive should at least have a hardware encryption and hardware authentication mechanism which is proven to be effective in protecting your data against any illegal access and misuse.