Should You Block USB Devices in the Workplace? | One of the most common dilemmas managers, employers and business owners face is “Should we have a USB block on company computers?” The short answer is yes. Firstly, USB devices are notorious for being the easiest way to infect PCs and laptops with viruses and other malware.
Flash drives often change hands and are connected to a huge number of devices over their lifetimes; meaning that the potential of foul play is particularly high when it comes to USB devices.
It’s Not Always About Bad Intent
It’s very easy to pick up malicious files along the way, especially if the owner isn’t vigilant about keeping them clean. Even though keeping USB devices clean and malware-free might not seem like a big task, however, it is a lot of trust to put into your employees.
Even if the employee has zero malicious intent, they could unknowingly have a virus or other malware on their own computer. In case an infected USB device is connected to a work computer, it could have devastating consequences.
The device might slow down or stop working completely, and sensitive work data could be stolen or damaged. We’re witnesses to a huge uptick in business-targeting ransomware attacks in recent years, and you’ll want to make sure there are no holes in your cyber defenses. Adding USB blocking to company computers is a simple, yet efficient way to keep your sensitive data secure.
Until It Is
Secondly, employees could potentially use a USB drive to steal valuable company information which, if published or sold, could harm your business. No matter what your business is, a lot is at stake if company data isn’t protected. Additionally, if your business handles sensitive customer data or user financial information, you need to ensure that said data cannot be leaked or stolen.
What About Improving Productivity?
Lastly, employees might be tempted to bring things like video games, movies, inappropriate media, or other non-work-related files on USBs to pass the time at the office. Naturally, this will have a severe negative impact on worker productivity, which is another reason you should block USB devices.
Situations like the above mentioned have happened to multiple huge companies such as Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft Exchange, and the list goes on. Workdays can already be stressful as is, and something like this happening to you and your business is an added stressor that you don’t need.
Luckily, finding a way to protect yourself from these potentially harmful and situations is now easier than ever with computer monitoring software that has USB blockers ingrained in its software.
How Can You Do It?
The short answer to the question “Should you block USB devices in the workplace?” is yes, and the long answer to the question is abso-freakin-lutely, yes. If you don’t want your company or business to join the list of companies that have struggled through data breaches, cyber security attacks, and insider data leaks – there is an extremely easy and cost-friendly solution.
Computer monitoring software usually contains a USB device blocker ingrained in its software. Using a USB blocker is quite simple, so don’t be discouraged if you have never worked with this kind of software before.
After the installation of computer monitoring software on the desired company devices, an administrative panel with all users should be visible. Here, you can configure USB device permissions; here you can choose full access, read-only, and no access.
Nowadays, computer monitoring software often has an added function called device reporting. This means that you, as the employer or manager, will see different files that have been transferred between devices or if there were any attempts at plugging in blocked devices. In other words, you will have insight into which employee is exhibiting “sketchy” behavior while on the company’s work time.
USB Blocking is a Simple Yet Powerful Solution
Even though it might not seem as much, USB blocking is an incredibly powerful and useful tool. This is a piece of technology that has proven to be invaluable to companies all over the globe. Many businesses would not be able to function the way that they are functioning if it wasn’t for computer monitoring software and USB blocking.
Depending on the type of company or business that you run, your computer monitoring and USB blocking needs might differ. For this reason, it would be good for you to do some research and see which computer monitoring software is the best for your needs.
But the general answer is loud and clear. By utilizing USB blockers on company devices, you are effectively lowering the chance of your employers getting distracted – thus, improving productivity. Another benefit of this software is the fact that you are protecting yourself and your company from data leaks and reducing the possibility of harassment at the workplace.
USB devices, especially corrupted USB devices, are also known to slow down the functionality of the company-issued device, as well as internet speed. Unmonitored USB usage could bring up a whole plethora of problems and complications that no one in their right mind wants to deal with. Why would you?
If Nothing Else, Better to Be Safe than Sorry
If you are still on the fence when it comes to USB blocking, try to think of it like this. How many times have you used your USB device on a computer other than your personal computer? Can you, one hundred percent, guarantee that the devices that you plugged your USB device into were absolutely virus- or malware-free?
Chances are that, like most of us, you can’t. We usually find out about how corrupted our USB drive is when it’s already too late. The times of nervously looking over your employees’ shoulders, hoping that they aren’t engaging in shady or unproductive activities are over.
Computer monitoring software is the answer to (almost) all of your computer and employee-related issues at the workplace. This software is being widely used by all kinds of companies all over the world, making managing employees and their productivity easier than ever.
Even if your business or company isn’t ready yet to introduce computer monitoring software, blocking USB devices is of the essence. Being able to audit file operations is a serious game-changer for keeping company, as well as client data safe and untouched.