Automatic USB Encryption: Two US Power Companies Infected By Malware Via USB Drives.

According to, two unnamed power companies in the US were infected when malware-infested USB drives were connected to corporate computers.  The recommendation put forth was to adopt new USB guidelines, “including the cleaning of a USB device before each use.”  The question is “how long will that last?”  How about a better approach, something similar to what’s found in AlertBoot managed laptop disk encryption?

AlertBoot: When a Laptop’s Disk is Encrypted, so is the USB Media

In both instances, the malware was copied over from the outside.  People used the same USB flash drives inside the workplace as well as outside of it, allowing contamination to take place.

USB drives are very useful for backups and for transferring large amounts of data.  But, if you’re dealing with sensitive information, you want to ensure you’re not allowing data out of the workplace…or data into the workplace.  Basically, there should be two sets of USB drives, one used only in the workplace and one outside of it, just like surgeons have different outfits inside and outside of an operating room.  The problem is in enforcing such a policy (for USB drive users, not surgeons).

The problem is already solved for people using AlertBoot.

One of the advantages found in AlertBoot Mobile Security solutions is the ability to automatically encrypt any external media that are connected via the USB port.  It only makes sense that a full disk encryption solution have such a feature: with FDE, anything that gets copied off the protected computer – be it via email, a flashdrive, CD disk, etc. – is not encrypted anymore.  Disk encryption, as the name implies, encrypts the disk.

So, if you’re really looking to protect your data, USB encryption is paramount.  The automated aspect in AlertBoot also ensures that employees only used authorized USB sticks, since personal ones will also become encrypted and unusable outside of the workplace.

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that malware will never be introduced to the workplace.  After all, we get those instances where people plug in their smartphones into the USB ports of computers already encrypted with AlertBoot, not realizing that these devices are basically a hard disk and battery pack that comes with a GUI.

But, it certainly cuts down on people using unauthorized USB devices.

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