How can you protect removable media and enhance security?
The best way to protect your sensitive data is not to put it on removable media in the first place. It’s also important to protect the data from threats that can affect your system after the fact.
For example, take this scenario: you have an external hard drive that contains sensitive corporate data but no encryption. You put that drive into your computer and back up some of your files onto it, however, you don’t know if you accidentally left any other files on there. You take the drive home and plug it into your home computer, where you have a Trojan virus on your computer. The virus extracts all of the unencrypted files from the external hard drive and copies them onto your home computer.
This is why you should always turn off the “autoplay” function so that an external drive will not automatically open when connected to a computer. This is especially important for USB drives because they are small enough to be easily lost or stolen. That’s why using a password protection system or encryption can be very effective in protecting sensitive data stored on removable media.
Protect Removable Media
Moreover, here is a list of tips on how you can protect removable media:
- If you must store information on removable media, use password protection, encryption, or both.
- Always disconnect your removable media after use; never leave it in your computer’s drive if it isn’t in use.
- Do not leave your media on an unattended computer.
- Don’t give anyone else access to your removable media.
- Don’t stick the label with the password information on the outside of the media case.
- Consider using a “master password” that will unlock all of the files on the removable media.
Let us discuss each of these in detail below:
Use Password Protection
If you must store information on removable media, use password protection, encryption, or both. Password protection isn’t as effective as data encryption because it only protects the media and not the data itself. Thus, an attacker can still read the information when they access the drive if they don’t have the password. However, it is still better than nothing.
Always Disconnect your removable media after use
This is one of the best ways to protect your removable media. When you are finished using the media, you should immediately disconnect it from your computer. This will prevent an attack from a Trojan virus or other malware that may be active on your system.
Don’t leave your media on an unattended computer
If you need to leave your computer for some reason, make sure that you take the removable media with you. You can leave it on another computer if you have another computer available; just disconnect it, lock the door and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Of course, the best thing to do is to use your removable media on another computer if it isn’t in use.
Don’t give anyone else access to your removable media
If you have to share your removable media with someone else, be sure to set a password or encryption. This way, they cannot access sensitive data if they are not authorized.
Don’t stick the label with the password information on the outside of the media case
If you need to write down your password, remember to keep it on a separate piece of paper and store it somewhere safe. Don’t store it on the outside of the case where other people might see it. This is especially important because some “auto-play” functions may automatically open up your removable media when it is connected.