Putting Cyber Intrusions into a Headlock

PCMagazine described using a device like a USB port blocker and lock as putting “your jump drive in a headlock,” when they recommended it among “The World’s Strangest Security Products.” When the magazine wrote of cyber security measures that have “taken a turn for the strange,” it’s interesting that all the measures they wrote about were physical devices – not software, not cloud-based countermeasures, not war-rooms of cyber-defense specialists. Rather the tangible, visible solutions were the ones deemed “strange.”

A different take on the steaming swamp of discourse around how to protect the computer networks and information systems that make 21st Century life achievable would be to say it’s strange that the invisible should be so normal and the world of devices like the USB port blocker and lock, the USB port lock with blockers, and the USB blocker itself should be seen as so strange. The fact that you can hold them in your hand, install them under direct supervision, and see in an instant whether they’re on the job or not, would seem to make the USB port blocker and lock, and other blockport solutions, the obvious starting point.

Well, they are. It’s just an artifact of history that the cyber-security frenzy went virtual first and physical just now. “Perimeter” paradigms dominated thinking in the beginning, when the building, or the rack, or the basement where servers were housed was seen as some kind of inner sanctum to be protected with technology that was as sophisticated as the anticipated intrusions. And to be sure, a lot of solutions – some of them elegant, some elaborate – resulted from that chapter of thinking, before the vital importance of physical solutions such as the USB port blocker and lock emerged from the fray.

And the fray was intense. A tsunami of solutions came crashing ashore. For instance, just a couple of years ago, one company listed no less than 131 “tips” for securing the all-important cyber-network and data-system assets that enable companies to create value today. And rarely, if ever, did this early generation of cyber-security address the data ports and connectors throughout the workplace, the flash drives where a USB port blocker and lock could make the difference between ongoing operations and calamity. In effect, industry was securing every outbuilding, barn door and hay-loft window – without first locking the front door.

The Growing Prominence of the Visible

Not only can those physical points be compromised – the USB ports and network connectors – right there in full view of every associate and visitor, but they are also open invitations to unintentional contamination from any faithful worker who wants to bring an assignment home on her thumb drive, or any busy field representative who wants to sync the contacts in his smart phone with his desktop. Yes, without deploying physical data security solutions like the USB port blocker and lock, we see an environment where personal devices, the increasing integration of work with private life, and even the evolution of BYOD (bring your own device) workplaces, make even the most innocent or constructive behavior among team members an open invitation to malware, viruses, or data security compromise.

Fascinating – and chilling – research undertaken by corporate and defense data network authorities has demonstrated that even the best-intentioned workers and most disciplined operatives don’t hesitate to connect personal devices to the data system at work. Even flash drives seeded in a parking lot showed up being connected within minutes to the systems were security studies were conducted.

Enter the USB Port Blocker and Lock

It’s not that software and cloud-based cyber-security elements aren’t important; they’re essential. But they are so easily neutralized when a data system is missing the physical port defenses like a USB port blocker and lock.

The fact is, all of the other measures that constitute the current state of the art in network security protection, controls, and solutions perform better and become even more worthwhile when you secure the physical access to your network. Important measures such as data loss prevention, behavioral analytics, and application security become even more important when you work through the cloud, which is more reason to secure the visible access points, like ports and connectors, first and foremost.

The Smart Keeper series of blocks, locks, and links from The Connectivity Center – including Link Lock connectors and the Link Lock Hub – can join with compatible devices such as the USB port blocker and lock to permit access by the associates who are truly authorized to use them, while still positively securing those everyday access points.

The easiest, most numerous points of access for data theft, compromise, and infection are the data ports and cable connections of your data and IT network. At The Connectivity Center, we provide an enormous selection of devices for controlling access to your data network, securing these visible points of entry, and giving you the network security protection, controls, and solutions you need today, for companies, agencies, and enterprises of all kinds.

A recent industry report confirms that controlling access to the system is basic, the thing to do before, after, and during everything else. It’s been given the acronym NAC, for network access control, and it begins with what you can see – your ports and connectors. That’s why the USB port blockers and locks, the secure connectors, and the other devices you’ll find at The Connectivity Center are basic to NAC. If you stop the viruses, ransomware, Trojans, worms, and spyware from getting in through visible ports and connections, then a broad sector of your security perimeter is secured.

Accomplished technicians are at work everywhere, doing their best to stay abreast of the existential threats that enterprises face today. This can be a source of confidence. But the threats evolve, and they will remain dynamic, a seemingly permanent impermanence in our ways of doing business today.

At The Connectivity Center, we offer you under one roof the devices you need to secure your data network and complete your cyber-security perimeter. We can help you secure that front door, while still giving regulated, secured access to the people you authorize, the ones who build value through your ports and connectors every day. Our USB port blocker and lock is a way to get started, but we can help you with so much more.

You may also be interested in our security portfolio. You can receive a free physical copy of our 2019 Catalog in the mail by starting here, or view an electronic copy here. For further assistance, feel free to give us a call 888-865-4639. We’d love to help.