Survey: Removable storage devices popular in business

Study finds that endpoint security is risky business in both government and enterprise organizations

About 73 percent of 308 respondents to a survey taken at two recent conferences said they store corporate data on removable media, but 46 percent answered they did not have -- or were unaware of -- a corporate security policy in place to protect that information.

The survey, conducted by endpoint security software maker Senforce Technologies, was taken at the government-focused FOSE trade show in Washington, D.C., in March and at enterprise security-focused InfoSec in Orlando, also in March. The purpose of the survey, according to company officials, was to gauge how high of a risk endpoint security is in both government and enterprise organizations. Questions related to overall security, confidence levels in network security and security breaches.

The survey showed that 44 percent of respondents are confident in their organization's network security to protect against wireless, malware and endpoint threats. Those respondents who said they store data on endpoints included laptops, thumb drives and iPods in that description.

Breaking this group down further, 18 percent of InfoSec attendees and 17 percent of FOSE attendees said nearly half of their organizations' data resides at the endpoint.

In addition, 23 percent of respondents at both conferences said a network security breach had occurred at their organization within the last 18 months, while 25 percent said they weren't sure if one had occurred.

Senforce says "thumbsucking," defined as when employees use unauthorized USB devices to steal corporate data, as well as the proclivity to misplace thumb drives because of their small size, is a growing problem in corporations and federal agencies. The company has set up a Web site with more information.

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