When PCMagazine wrote of cybersecurity measures that have “taken a turn for the strange,” it’s interesting that all the measures they wrote about were physical devices – not intricate software, not cloud-based countermeasures, not war-rooms of cyber-defense specialists. Rather, the tangible, visible solutions were the ones deemed “strange.” Among the products recommended in its article, “The World’s Strangest Security Products,” was the simple and inexpensive USB port lock.
It’s just an artifact of history that the cybersecurity frenzy went virtual first and physical just recently. Back then, it seems they thought that the newly dispersed digital devices should be protected with technology that was as elaborate as the anticipated intrusions. In the aftermath, it’s strange that the invisible should be so normal and the world of physical protections – such as the USB port blocker and lock – should be considered odd.
The fact that you can hold a USB port lock in your hand, install them in seconds, and see in an instant whether they’re on the job or not would seem to make the USB port lock, and other port-blocking solutions, the obvious starting point.
The Visible Grows Prominent
Not only can the physical points of data network security be attacked, situated as they are 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. Without deploying physical data security solutions such as port locks, 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 open invitations to malware, viruses, and data security compromise.
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 where security studies were conducted.
It’s not that software and cloud-based cybersecurity elements aren’t important; they’re essential. But they are so easily neutralized when a data system is missing the physical port defenses that port locks provide.