Germany leads Europe for USB drive data security

Many organizations are ignoring the risk of unencrypted USB drives and are not following through with appropriate USB security policies. The Ponemon Institute research also denotes marked differences in the approach and implementation of USB drive security from country to country.

The European study confirms the pressing need for organizations to adopt more secure USB products and policies. A total of 3,204 IT practitioners with an average of 10.75 years of IT or IT security experience in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Nordics, Netherlands, Switzerland and Poland, were surveyed and all acknowledged the importance of USB drives from a productivity standpoint.

Across Europe, 71 percent of respondents confirmed that their companies do not have the technologies to prevent or quickly detect the download of confidential data onto USB drives by unauthorized individuals.

The statistic shows most organizations are ignoring the risks of using unencrypted USB drives, resulting in most companies – 62 percent of those questioned – having suffered a loss of confidential or sensitive data because of missing USB drives in the last two years.

When comparing individual European countries, perceptions and practices about the importance of USB security is highest in Germany – with 62 percent agreeing that their organization has an adequate USB security policy in place to prevent employee misuse.

On the contrary, France and Poland are most at risk as a result of employees’ practices – 85 percent of respondents in France and 83 percent in Poland say that employees use USB drives without obtaining advance permission to do so.

Evidence of widespread compromise is apparent:

  • 75 percent of respondents say employees in their companies are using USB drives without obtaining advance permission to do so.
  • A staggering 63 percent of respondents confirmed employees lose USB drives without notifying appropriate authorities all the time or very frequently.
  • France, UK and Poland have the highest rate of data breach as a result of a missing USB drives.

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