Thursday, April 30, 2009

Memory stick best practices for end-users

We are using increasingly powerful portable memory technology the "USB Memory Stick". Originally developed for the cameras and photo world, the memory stick made its transition to the portable word via the USB format.
Today the USB memory sticks can carry 8GB or more in a format the can easily be carried. 8GB is more them hard disk capacity of earlier PC or even Mainframes.
So with the extra capacity comes the extra risk of higher amounts of information being disclosed by this high density portable medium.
We normally now recommend the users encrypt the information contained on these USB memory sticks as a "best practice". This same best practice advises that the key or password used to encrypt the USB should be kept in separate location.
Many users forget easily this simple fact, the consequences can be quite dramatic disclosure of confidential information. See the following article from BBC which highlights this case.