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App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

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March 18, 2008 8:59 AM

Connectivity Secures Data On Your Thumb

Came across an interesting story this morning from ComputerWorld about how one government agency is beginning to utilize Web-enabled thumb drives to protect sensitive information.

USB thumb drives are those small storage devices typically about the size of your thumb that feature a built-in USB connecter. Just plug it into your computer's USB slot, and use it like an external hard drive or floppy disc to store data and take it with you on the go.

The taking it on the go part is what's been problematic. Government has gained a bit of a reputation for not safeguarding digital data as well as it could and should. Thumb drives can be especially bad for security as they can now store GBs in a small form factor that's easy to lose and steal. And since many of them aren't secured by even a password, they're essentially asking to be stolen and abused.

Until now. Washington's Division of Child Support was the subject of this article, and they're in the midst of upgrading their workers' thumb drives to SanDisk's Cruzer Enterprise edition that tie into SanDisk's Central Management & Control software.

What this software enables is the centralized management of these thumb drives. Now administrators can keep track of what data is stored on which thumb drive, and if a thumb drive is misplaced it's both password-protected and its memory can be wiped clean remotely.

This is another prime example of how everything's getting connected and what that connectivity can enable. Not only that, it illstrates how being connected to the Internet can support security efforts rather than just exposing an organization to additional risk.

Security is a major concern for the 21st century, especially as more and more of our sensitive personal information is delivered online. But done in the right way connectivity can be a boon to security and not merely a threat.


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