Every company gathers and stores critical data and files during their business operations. These data are so important because they are considered as one of the most valued assets by some. In line with this, different corporate policies are being implemented to protect these files from any threats such as theft and viruses. Discouragement of using USB flash drives (UFDs) is an example of this policy and in some strict cases; total ban on the use of a portable storage device is being implemented.
The reason for such policies is very clear; they do not want their data to fall in the wrong hands. This is because when some important files are stored in a UFD, the owner of the device does not have complete control on who can access the data. He may be very careful in keeping or securing it, but some people are just so skillful in stealing UFD and files. In short, data are not completely secured on UFD especially if does not have any security mechanisms installed in it.
As a response to the security problem on UFDs, different manufacturers are now implementing reliable security mechanisms installed on the device. The most preferred nowadays is hardware authentication and encryption. This type of security mechanism secures the data transfer and storage by means of different authentication protocols and encryption algorithms.
The most common UFD hardware authentication nowadays uses a built-in buttons for password inputs. It means that you will not need any software just to enter your pin code; rather, you can enter your code directly into the UFD without establishing any communication channel into the host computer. Remember that there can be internal hackers on your company who can exploit the channels created during the authentication process. So if your UFD can authenticate you without creating any signals to the host computer, then it is surely the best option that you should take.
Same thing for hardware encryption, if you will use a UFD that implements this technology then your business files will surely be safe from any attacks or eavesdropping. The encryption key will also be hard to capture since the USB encryption process is done in a dedicated processor inside the UFD.
Knowing how hardware authentication and encryption can protect your company files will surely bring added confidence in using UFDs. It can even change your corporate policies regarding these storage devices especially if the upper management sees that the security can maintain the reliability and integrity of their data assets.