The Human Factor: Reason #1 to Lock Your Ports and Connectors

The associates and employees within an organization have proven to be – by some measures – the greatest threat of all in cybersecurity. Natural human curiosity and the unfounded trust people still feel for data and web interaction combine to produce behavior that is an open invitation to malware, ransomware, viruses, and all manner of disruptions – from small to debilitating to barely-survivable – in the data networks and information systems that your enterprise depends on for operations, profit, and continuity. Never before has there been so broad a body of reasons to make a locking USB connector and lockable USB key an integral component in every line connection of your network.

A comprehensive report of 2018 cybersecurity threats entitled, “The Human Factor,” asserts that, “people-centered threats define the landscape.” In this environment, a locking USB connector and lockable USB key are not only good ideas, but also security necessities. The nature of the threat actually doubles the importance of the locking USB connector and lockable USB key, because the human factor includes both malicious attacks and unintentional contamination. Both depend on the behavior of people and their roles within your organization.

Your Employees May Be Your Greatest Threat

Because unintentional contamination that characterizes the human factor in cybersecurity is even more common than the burgeoning world of malicious attacks, let’s look at that wider threat first. Now, consider that every associate or employee carries at least one device – a mobile phone – that is exposed to the Web and any other digital delivery system the world can dream up. The phone provides the primary day-to-day exposure, but not the only one. The USB flash drive they use to bring work home – and even unknown flash drives that they might find inadvertently – all have the potential to infect the vital data networks and information systems to which they have access at work.

Are your associates and employees well trained and indoctrinated in company cybersecurity policy? Even if you believe they are, experience demonstrates it doesn’t really matter, as even intelligence agents and analysts with classified security clearance are prone to plugging unknown USB flash drives into office computer ports. In a widely reported 2011 experiment, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security randomly dropped USB and optical drives in government and private contractor parking lots – and more than half of those who picked one up readily plugged it into their work computer. Bloomberg News reported that 90% of found drives stamped with official government logos were plugged in.

The lesson learned? Even the most secure and disciplined workplace needs a locking USB connector and lockable USB key.

How Social Engineering Exposes Your System to Sabotage and Contamination

The reason the ports and connectors of your data networks and information systems are so vulnerable is that devices of every kind, in the hands of your associates, are bombarded daily with malware, phishing, and cyber-crime assaults. What most of them have in common is the leverage they seek from your associates’ natural curiosity, love of a bargain, desire to be helpful, and even from the working time constraints that were not relieved – if anything exacerbated – by the presence of digital tools.

The sinister analysis of these motives, and the strategic leverage sought from them, is described in “The Human Factor” as “social engineering.” This is how your associates’ devices acquire their contamination and threats, and why the locking USB connector and lockable USB key from The Connectivity Center have become such a necessary set of components.

Of the vast number of malicious messages and casual contamination your associates’ devices face every day, some new trends were observed during 2018 in the ways that attackers target and deploy their connections. Dropbox phishing was an emerging lure; in fact, twice as many victims were enticed by file-sharing invitations as by the next most numerous means. Many new exploits in 2018 were based on people’s interest in Bitcoin and other digital currency systems. The instance of coin-mining bots increased 90%. Prior to the surge in Bitcoin exploits, ransomware and banking “Trojans” represented 82% of malicious emails.

Increasing reliance on cloud services for collaboration brings with it new risks and greatly increased exposure. And, as in email-originated attacks, the impact of these cloud-based incursions can end up in your own data network when associates bring their own devices to work, unless your network is protected by a locking USB connector and lockable USB key. The 2018 cybersecurity study reports that 25% of suspicious login attempts to cloud services were successful; about half of all cloud users have installed third-party add-ons, and 18% of these add-ons give access to email and files. Even worse, 60% of cloud service users did not have a multi-factor authentication, or even a password policy.

Because this is the world to which your associates’ devices are exposed, is it any wonder we refer to a personal mobile device as a “Petri dish” of contamination, especially when it is attached – even momentarily – to your information system through a USB connector or data port? Clearly, a locking USB connector and lockable USB key is basic to protecting your ongoing operations.

Where to Get Your Locking USB Connector and Lockable USB Key

Unfortunately, in the digital age, sabotage is easy and casual contamination occurs somewhere every hour of every day. Securing the connectors that turn PCs into information systems and protecting the physical data ports through which the most damaging and historically impactful cyber-attacks were perpetrated is our mission at The Connectivity Center.

Among the hundreds of solutions you’ll find from The Connectivity Center are a variety of locking 4K high-speed cables and both the Enterprise and Professional series of the Smart Keeper USB Port Lock Key. Together with the Smart Keeper collection of computer and laptop security devices, they provide you with the PC security you need, without sacrificing the access that makes your system so vital to operations. Our Link Lock connectors and the Link Lock Hub serve not only as secure USB connections, but also lock your devices so that they cannot be removed without authorized access.

The Professional Series key from The Connectivity Center comprises an ergonomic, retractable housing with anti-static rubber grip, LED light for low visibility work areas, and dual-retractors – main and peripheral – for reaching port locks in confined spaces. The key patterns are strictly controlled, yet you can order duplicate keys to suit your own security authorization structure.

The Connectivity Center offers real protection for the vital flow of data on which your enterprise depends, and the locking USB connector and lockable USB key are just two of the hundreds of ways. Our experience, quality, variety, value, and versatility are at your service.

Let’s get acquainted and go to work.