Information technology  

Pointsec solution controls copying of data onto USB storage devices

23 January 2007

London, UK. Pointsec Mobile Technologies has launched the Pointsec Device Protector to control access to data through the security weak points of computer ports and portable storage devices. The new system secures data access through a combination of port management, content filtering and optional media encryption.

USB storage devices, along with other plug-and-play removable media devices, can connect directly into workstations and function without IT authorization or knowledge. The current breed of these thumb-size devices can hold up to 8 gigabytes of data, giving an attacker the ability to easily import unauthorized data, unlicensed software, malicious code, games, screensavers and other inappropriate material. More importantly, these devices increase the risk of theft of intellectual property and proprietary information.

“While organizations of all sizes are scrambling to protect their sensitive information through security solutions designed for networks, port security is one avenue of data loss at the endpoint that many IT managers are just now becoming aware of through recently reported data breaches,” said Erik Johannisson, Chief Technology Office, Pointsec Mobile Technologies.

“The risk of data loss through unprotected ports and plug-and-play storage devices is a serious concern among all organizations in possession of confidential data. Once this sensitive information is copied through a port to a storage device — whether it is by a malicious insider or a well-meaning insider who is unaware of the security policy — it becomes vulnerable to loss, theft and unauthorized use.”

According to Gartner, Inc.’s June 26, 2006 report, Stolen FTC Laptops Show Extent of Lax Security Data Practices, “Organizations need to take a strategic, layered approach to data security, rather than focusing solely on one or two exposure points. To ensure that more than laptop data is protected, organizations should not allow employees to transfer sensitive data to unmanaged systems or PCs and should implement endpoint activity enforcement products to restrict USB transfers.”

Pointsec Device Protector combines port and storage device management from Reflex Magnetics’ DiskNet Pro solution with media encryption to protect both removable storage media and email in transit by providing automatic real-time encryption.

This enables control of employees’ use of personal removable media devices such as USB drives, Bluetooth smartphones, digital cameras and music players, that have wired or wireless connections to their work PCs. The product effectively prevents or limits data transfers to these devices through a configurable security policy and content filtering to ensure that corporate IT infrastructure cannot be used for illegal distribution of copyrighted content or installation of malicious software.

Johannisson added, “Pointsec is focused on protecting sensitive information where it is most vulnerable — the endpoints of the network. As the security landscape evolves with increased technology innovation, so do the risks and our customers are clearly concerned about securing all data leak points. With Pointsec Device Protector, we have responded to customer demand with a simple, reliable way to secure and protect their data with low operational costs.”

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