Storage Station

A bird's eye view of the data storage industry.

Enterprises Trace Leakage of Key Data to Lost Thumb Drives

Shockingly, the Ponemon Institute recently reported that over the past two years, 70 percent of the world's companies have traced the loss of sensitive business information to portable USB flash memory sticks.

A third of those businesses reacted by locking down or disabling all of their USB ports so that USB storage solutions could not be used with their machines. Now that's a serious repercussion.

Thumb drives are indeed handy, but those things are small, can easily get dropped or lost, yet can hold lots of important information. Yes, they can be a real weak link in a company's security chain.

This activity has to be connected to the continued dropoff of sales of NAND flash memory, especially the kind used in those little thumb drives. Major NAND flash makers like Toshiba are feeling it, too, by being forced to cut back on production because so many of those silicon chips are gathering dust on warehouse shelves.

Toshiba, which invented NAND flash back in the 1980s, reported this week that it is cutting back production by a full 30 percent until sales pick up.

What is your company's policy on using thumb drives to carry business files? Have you had a security lapse that can be connected to one of those? Let the Station know a summary of your story, if you'd care to share it. We'll post some of the better horror stories, if we get some. And yes, we'll provide anonymity if you request it.

Have a great weekend!

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...