USB drive connected to a laptop

The Risks Involved with Using Removable Media

People have been using removable media such as CDs, USB drives, SD cards, smartphones, and pen drives to move data from one computer to another for years now, but these devices come with several risks. They can carry malware from one computer to the other, and there is always a chance that they can fall into the wrong hands, leading to security breaches. When handling sensitive business data, there is a need to employ the highest security measures possible. This makes the risks of removable media even more serious when it comes to an organization’s data. We’ll discuss some of these risks and how they can be mitigated below.

Data Security issues

As we mentioned above, there is a risk of data that you can carry in the USB drive falling into the wrong hands. For example, if you transfer data to a given computer using the USB drive, the data will remain in the USB drive if you do not delete it. Removable media such as CDs can be stolen, and unauthorized people will access the information. If an organization has stored substantial amounts of data on removable media, they risk the information falling into the wrong hands, exposing them to data security breaches.

Malware Infections

Removable disks such as CDs can carry malware that can easily infect computers if the autorun feature is allowed. Computer viruses can lead to serious threats like ransomware attacks, causing your organization to incur serious losses that could have easily been avoided. To keep your systems protected, there is a need to hire a team of experts who will run antivirus and monitor any threats to keep everything running safely. However, no amount of antivirus will protect a computer from user error. You should always be careful when using removable media to avoid cases where malware can affect company computers.

Copyright Infringement

The data stored on a removable disc may be copyrighted. For example, if you carry software in removable media and end up using it outside the licensed computers, then there is a risk of being exposed to the issue of copyright infringement. There is a need to ensure the data you carry in the removable media does not have any copyright issues. There are cases where people have been exposed to hefty fines due to copyright infringements. Take necessary action to avoid cases where the data will expose you to copyright issues.

Hardware Failures

Sometimes, CDs and USB drives can fail. If you use them as the primary storage for your data, they can fail at any time. For example, if you have a USB drive and it ends up falling in water, its data may not be retrievable. Hardware failure is an issue you should take seriously because it can lead to data loss. Some business data can be time consuming or even impossible to recreate if no reliable backups exist. It will be a big loss to your organization if the data is lost.

Bottom Line

There is a need to have a reliable backup solution if you use removable media to store data. Removable media can play a significant role in a business’ productivity, but they should be used cautiously and responsibly. Whenever possible, look for an alternative way to store data to reduce the risk associated with removable media.

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