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USB Connected Devices Present Cyber Vulnerabilities

Connecting devices to computers using a USB port could lead to security breaches.

Berlin-based security researches Karsten Nohl and Jacob Lell have called USB technology "critically flawed" and said there is no way to defend against cyber vulnerabilities from USB connected devices.

The researches explained that even if a USB stick has been formatted, it can still contain malware that can infect computers.

USB sticks have been associated with malware attacks for some time. To protect businesses from attacks, software can be used on the drives that runs a sandbox or protects against infected systems. Enterprise Virtual Private Network (VPN) with two-factor authentication can minimise the chances of data being copied to a local system.

As the 'bring your own device' (BYOD) trend becomes more and more prevalent, it will mean an increasing number of employees will be plugging USB connected devices into work systems.

Derrick Bates, information security officer at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS, said the BYOD trend is the "scariest thing to happen in IT since the USB stick".

Bates said companies could instead reap the benefits offered by mobile data without the risk, as long as the organisation ensures the appropriate controls are in place.

He added: "It is always important to ensure basic controls are in place to protect the low-hanging fruit from compromise."

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