Protect Against BadUSB with Mobile Cloud Storage

By Natalie Cheng | Nov 03, 2016

You know that little device that stores data called a USB flash drive? These data storage devices have been around since at least the mid-1990s when the USB standard was created, and many have trusted them for years. Well, people’s trust in these devices recently suffered a major blow. If you haven’t heard yet, there is a huge security flaw that researchers found called BadUSB. According to The Verge, BadUSB allows “attackers to smuggle malware on the devices effectively undetected.” The security flaw can turn a keyboard, mouse, storage device, or any USB device into a threat. Hackers can take over the input of a user’s keyboard and effectively transfer control of the device over to themselves. These attacks can’t be detected by today’s defenses including software for Antivirus scans, which makes it even more of a threat. In addition, devices with BadUSB are hard to disinfect because the tampering is in the firmware.

A security flaw like BadUSB has huge ramifications on enterprises with sensitive data. So how can enterprises store and transfer information in a safer way? Well, companies could continue using USB flash drives and risk getting infected by BadUSB, wait for a complete overhaul of the USB standard, or use something else like a cloud storage system. After hearing about BadUSB, employees may not want to risk getting infected by the security flaw. As for a complete overhaul of the USB standard, this will take at least a couple of years to implement and companies can’t or won’t want to wait that long. The cloud storage system may be the solution to choose in this case.

Benefits and Risks of Cloud Storage Systems

Research has found that 65% of companies are using cloud-based storage for remote location disaster recovery. Cloud storage systems are helpful for companies whether they want to store all their current data somewhere or just want to back up their information. It’s no surprise that the cloud storage adoption rate is rising for companies especially considering the following benefits:

  • Easily access files from anywhere and on any device
  • Have the latest collateral available
  • Organize and update information in real-time
  • Manage teams and employees remotely
  • Create tailored presentations
  • Low cost of backing up information
  • Doesn’t take up space like physical devices
  • High level of encryption and security
  • Share one folder or several files easily
  • Collaborate with team members
  • Easily recover data and files
  • Get additional storage space that grows with your needs

Besides the benefits of cloud storage systems, there will inevitably be some risks such as network dependency, cyber-attacks, and security breaches. With any information stored on the Internet, cyber-attacks are bound to occur. Another risk of using a cloud storage system is the fact that you’re allowing another company to manage your data. There’s also the possible risk of the government looking at your company’s data. Companies can decide whether or not the benefits of cloud storage outweigh the risks associated with using the technology.

Game Plan

One tool that companies can use to securely store their data is Game Plan. With an increasingly mobile workforce, companies are having to adjust to the new ways people work. Since employees have to access documents wherever they are working, mobile solutions like Game Plan are needed. Game Plan is a sales enablement solution that helps enterprises equip their employees with the right tools for success. It helps equip a company’s sales force with the most up-to-date collateral and also helps align with the sales process. It can be used for sales presentations, trade shows, marketing kiosks, or as a solution for employees to store, manage, and present their documents. In addition, Game Plan provides more security by allowing administrators to manage users directly with options to add and remove users, set administrator privileges and reset passwords. If an organization is looking for a secure way to store its information and don’t want to deal with BadUSB, then a mobile solution like Game Plan would be useful.

Conclusion

With the concerns of BadUSB, companies may want to look for other data storage options. One option is using a cloud storage system such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Of course, even though cloud storage systems have a high level of encryption and security, any system or device can be attacked. With the news about BadUSB, enterprises may be safer using a cloud storage system instead of devices like USBs.





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