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Keeping Company Secrets from Walking out the Door on a Thumb Drive

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 2 Aug 2007

We've received some inquiries about the new ZENworks Endpoint Security Management product, so we thought we'd share some of the cool features in it. This week we'll look at the way it protects your company from employees who use USB thumb drives and other removable storage devices. Even if they don't intend to steal your secrets, it happens every day, sometimes with serious consequences. Here's the scoop.

The amount of data that can be quickly copied to removable storage devices is increasing every day. While these devices can significantly boost productivity, they can also poke dangerously large holes in data security and control policies. Threats caused by these devices include:

  • Malicious users copying large amounts of data with no audit trail
  • Well-intentioned users misplacing or throwing away devices containing sensitive information
  • Viruses or other malicious code introduced to the network via contaminated devices
  • Violations of HIPAA, SOX, GLBA or other regulations due to sensitive data being copied and transported unencrypted

USB Security allows administrators to protect corporate data and assets both inside and outside the corporate security perimeter. With advanced, patent-pending, location-aware technology, USB Security enforces highly customizable storage device security policies that are centrally managed, automatically distributed to users or machines, and continuously enforced?always and everywhere?without user intervention.

With USB Security you can:

  • Control usage of internal optical media and all types of removable storage devices, including:
    • CD drives
    • DVD drives
    • USB thumb drives
    • Floppy drives
    • Zip drives
    • mp3 players
  • Permit or block access completely or limits the device to read-only access
  • Enforce permissions based on the user's location
  • Control the file system so devices that pose no security threat (such as a USB mouse) are not disabled
  • Provide granular control of specific devices based on serial number
  • Generate reports and alerts when allowable size thresholds have been exceeded

Powerful and Granular Data Security

Storage device control.
USB and Removable Media Security provides administrators control over the use of local optical media (CD-R/W, DVD+/-R/W) and all attached storage devices (USB thumb drives, floppy drives, flash memory cards, zip drives, SCSI PCMCIA cards and other removable media types). Administrators can set policy-based restrictions on device access privileges, which protects the integrity and confidentiality of data on the endpoints, while simultaneously protecting the endpoint from the introduction of malware and any other unauthorized activities.

Serial number-based control.
USB and Removable Media Security delivers granular control over which devices are allowed, blocked, or read only. Administrators can automatically scan devices for their name and serial number is included within the management console, and then allow, disallow or render read-only-specific devices. A separate utility is also available for capturing device names and serial numbers in a master list that can then be imported into a policy.

Protection against unauditable transactions.
USB and Removable Media Security protects against the introduction of local storage devices that can copy data without leaving an audit trail. These transactions are blocked by either completely disallowing use of such devices everywhere, or disallowing their use based on an endpoint's network location. Storage devices can be placed in read-only mode or fully disabled, while the endpoint hard drive and all network drives remain accessible and operational.

USB and Removable Media Security includes reports and alerts to notify administrators and security officers of potential threats. Reports can include relevant location information, the names of files transferred to removable storage devices, their sizes, who transferred them, when the file was transferred and what device.

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