Data security is essential in sensitive environments such as hospitals, financial services and government organisations. USB-based malware attacks are not uncommon in today’s digital society and according to a new report from Mandiant, researchers say in the first half of this year they’ve seen a three-times increase in attacks using compromised USB drives. One case in point is a European hospital that was infected by malware across their network after an employee plugged a compromised USB memory stick into a computer after returning from a conference. This example underscores the need for a more secure solution that goes beyond simply restricting the use of USBs in company owned laptops! In this blog, we’ll explore how Datakey Tokens from ATEK Access Technologies provide a proprietary solution that offers high security beyond USBs and mitigates such risks..
The incident at the European hospital serves as a stark reminder of the increasing risks associated with USB-based malware attacks. Compromised USB drives, intentionally or inadvertently, introduce malicious software into secure networks, causing potentially devastating consequences. This article highlights a significant surge in such attacks, with cybercriminals using sophisticated malware, like SOGU and Snowydrive, to infiltrate organisations and steal sensitive data.
Look Beyond Conventional USBs
The USB drive (memory stick) is the most common form factor; being low-cost, widely available and easy to use. But these conveniences come at a price as it makes them ideal carriers for malware. Datakey Tokens represent a revolutionary step in data security. Unlike standard USB memory sticks, Datakey Tokens offer USB functionality but boast a proprietary form factor, making them inherently more secure. The unique design offers a heightened level of protection against data breaches. Mechanically they are incompatible with USB so if a drive containing sensitive information were to be lost or stolen it is extremely unlikely the finder would have a receptacle with which to interface with the device. In the example of the European hospital, the employee would not have been able to insert his own USB memory stick into the Datakey receptacle.
Datakey Tokens are built to withstand the rigors of demanding environments. Their ultra-rugged form factor ensures that they can endure harsh environments, reducing the risk of physical damage that could lead to data exposure. Additionally, the proprietary design allows for easy integration with existing access control systems, enabling seamless implementation.
Datakey receptacles can withstand 33 times more insertion cycles that a typical USB connector and are available with IP67 rating.
Unmatched Data Protection
One of the key advantages of Datakey Tokens lies in their ability to provide an unparalleled level of data protection which Is why they’re used by the UK, Swedish, Norwegian and US military. The proprietary interface ensures that only authorised devices within the organisation can read the token’s data, preventing malware-infected or unauthorised devices from accessing sensitive information.
CryptoAuthentication™ memory tokens are designed for systems that require ‘cyber robust’ removable memory devices for applications that include the transfer of passwords (or other data needed for user authentication purposes) or for the physical transfer of security keys, certificates, sensitive data or system configuration files.
As highlighted in the hospital incident, conventional USB drives are susceptible to malware propagation. However, Datakey Tokens significantly mitigate this risk. Their unique physical design helps prevent malware from being written or executed on the token itself, acting as an effective barrier against spreading infections.
Versatility and Ease of Use
Datakey Tokens are versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications, including data storage, secure access control, and more. Despite their proprietary nature, they remain user-friendly, making it easy for employees to adopt them as a secure alternative to traditional USBs.
The incident at the European hospital serves as a wake-up call for organisations to reevaluate their data security practices, particularly concerning the use of USB drives. While USBs have long been a convenient means of data transfer, their vulnerabilities cannot be overlooked, especially with the rise in sophisticated malware attacks.
The Datakey Token from ATEK Access Technologies—a proprietary solution that surpasses conventional USBs in terms of security, durability, and malware resilience provides high security beyond USBs. By adopting Datakey Tokens, organisations can take a proactive approach to safeguarding their data and networks from potential threats, such as malware-laden USB drives.
In this ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, embracing innovative security solutions like Datakey Tokens is a crucial step towards fortifying data protection and maintaining the integrity of sensitive information; Datakey paves the way for a safer and more secure digital future.