How to Lock the Front Door

The millions of unguarded USB ports in the world’s digital networks and information systems might look small individually, but together they are a yawning symbol of inattention. We discuss it quite a bit at The Connectivity Center, because the phenomenon is so curious – surely one of the greatest examples of paradox we’ve ever seen.

With an estimated $170 billion a year being spent on cybersecurity, only the tiniest fraction of that effort is going toward simply closing and locking the front door. The humble USB port blocker – the top-of-the-line professional version costs only $4 – offers a simple and direct answer to this undefended portion of the cybersecurity perimeter.

The physical vulnerabilities of the data networks on which we all depend are profound and fundamental. USB ports and cable connectors are commonly left unsecured, inviting both contamination from well-meaning associates and sabotage from hostile or predatory interests. Whether the source is innocent or pernicious, the effect can be equally devastating, a disruption of the systems upon which your business or operation or agency or enterprise depends for its very existence and function. Yet another example of perplexing paradox is that the answer is so simple, a USB port blocker, whether the professional version, personal versionUSB Type B port blocker, or USB Type C port blocker.

The stakes would seem to need no repeating. Our very way of life in the 21st century depends on data systems. From the water and lights in our homes, to the enterprises that drive the economy, to the intelligence and defense agencies that quietly protect us, the whole landscape of life today depends on digital-without-disruption.

Hostile and Innocent – Equally Dangerous

A looming threat to nuclear non-proliferation was dealt a decade-long setback by simply introducing a virus to the data system via a USB port. Was the now-famous Stuxnet worm, which came to light nearly 10 years ago, deployed from a skunk-works of cyber geniuses hacking the Web from a far-off cyber-espionage facility? No, Stuxnet penetrated Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant by simply plugging a flash drive containing the virus into an unsecured USB port. The USB port blocker is designed to prevent this kind of preposterous breach of security and effectively eliminate unauthorized access to the wide-open USB ports that are everywhere in the workplace.

Was this penetration an anomaly? Hardly. Since Stuxnet, research projects conducted both by universities and by concerned defense agencies have confirmed that just about anyone will plug in a “found” flash drive. One study observed the first incursion within minutes of distributing the coded flash drives. Another saw usage of the seeded flash drives exceed 100%, that is, not only were all the unmarked memory sticks used, but some were used more than once – and this at supposedly “secure” facilities. Again, think of the good that the USB port blocker can do.

Certainly, what happened at Natanz was not an innocent incursion, but it doesn’t take a hostile force to disrupt the data networks and information systems that your enterprise depends on. Any well-meaning associate with a mobile device – which is to say any associate at all – can be the unwitting source of a virus, a Trojan horse, or even ransomware.

Any time an associate or team-member plugs in a mobile device at work, even if not to sync it, but just to charge it, that mobile device can be, and very likely is, a carrier of any glitch that might be roaming the Web. Personal mobile devices are a Petri dish of digital contamination, because they are exposed to everything. A USB port blocker in the right place at the right time – that is everywhere 24/7 – can make the difference between disruption and continuous, reliable operation.

Putting the USB Port Blocker to Work

From The Connectivity Center, you’ll find the professional USB port blocker for $4 and the personal USB port blocker for $1.80. Between their inexpensive nature and their near-universal need, we sometimes hear the suggestion that we sell them by the bushel. Think of all the essential devices that make up your information system, and you’ll know what to do. There’s no reason to carry on without the USB port blocker on your side. Certainly, cost is not a serious obstacle, and that is yet another reason that this unguarded sector of the cybersecurity perimeter is so surprising. The inexpensive, unassuming looking, yet elegantly engineered USB port blocker is so easy to acquire, deploy, and factor into your operation.

Color-coded USB port blockers offer you the opportunity to visually identify who is qualified to install and remove them from a given operation. For unlocking them, we offer two kinds of keys, the Enterprise and Professional series of the Smart Keeper USB Port Lock Key. Key patterns are strictly controlled, yet you can order duplicate keys to suit your own security authorization structure.

The Professional Series key offers you an ergonomic, retractable housing with anti-static rubber grip, LED light for low visibility work areas, and dual-retractors – main and peripheral – for access to any angle of installation. The Professional Series provides effective control to reach port locks in confined spaces.

At The Connectivity Center, our mission is to protect the ports and connectors that guard the physical points of entry that that turn computers into data networks and information systems. Our Link Lock connectors, the Link Lock Hub, and a variety of locking 4K high-speed cables secure ubiquitous USB ports and network connections, and also lock your devices so that they cannot be removed without authorized access.

Our Smart Keeper collection of computer and laptop security devices protect the vital data network connections that empower your information systems and still permit the controlled access that moves your enterprise forward day after day.

At The Connectivity Center, our perspective for cybersecurity reaches back to the beginnings of widespread computer access, when computing power came out of the control room and into the hands of us all. Securing the open front door of cybersecurity – the physical points of access – is what we do. The quality, variety, value, and versatility that result from this experience and perspective are at your service.

Let’s get acquainted and go to work.