Complete I.T. Blog

The Dangers of Unknown USB Devices

by | Sep 5, 2017 | Archived Articles

There are various ways in which a virus can infect your system, one way that is used by Cyber Criminals to penetrate business networks is via USB Devices, a popular method that is often forgotten.

Most people know to be cautious when transferring data through USB sticks, but few are aware of the danger surrounding other USB devices – such as a computer mouse or webcam – ANYTHING that you plug in via USB can be hazardous to your systems.

Why are USB Devices so commonly used for Cyber Attacks?

The USB Device does the hard work – Once the device has been plugged into your machine, it’s already bypassed any perimeter cyber defences you have in place as well as your firewalls.

The victim won’t know what’s hit them – Cyber Viruses are sneaky, once they have been deployed through a device they can remain unnoticed for weeks, only being detected when the damage is already done.

Curiosity kills the Network – What’s on the USB? What if it’s important? Cyber criminals rely on the victim plugging in the device due to curiosity – and it’s often effective!

What can be done to avoid this form of attack?

Team Education: Ensuring that your organisation is aware of the damage USB devices can cause is vital in protecting your network from cyber-attacks such as this, however, no matter how vigilant you are – you cannot completely remove the possibility of human error.

Endpoint Control: This method allows you to set custom rules on how your desktops and laptops treat USB devices when they’re plugged in, making it so only certain desktops have the authority to read them – thus limiting the chance of human error.

Multi-layered Approach: As USB devices by their nature already bypass your standard firewall, investing in a reliable back up system alongside a strong anti-virus software is vital in protecting your business. Having these defences in place will further protect your business from cyber-attack and offer a failsafe in the event your network is compromised.  

Would you like to discuss your businesses cyber security and the multilayered approach that would work most effectively? Don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with one of our technical experts.