USB Security in 2017

News & Technical Blog

It seems that the threat to business IT infrastructure is constantly evolving and adapting to pierce even the tightest of security and failsafe’s available. While viruses, malware and credit card fraud seem ever prevalent there is one method for compromising systems that has gone unnoticed to a degree until now, and that is the threat posed by USB devices which can be used to siphon data and inflict massive damage to infrastructure. In fact, USB Malware was the number two cause of unlawful infiltration of security systems in the year 2016. In particular, the Stuxnet computer virus led to many businesses losing trust in using USB removable devices as the virus targeted the industrial control systems used to provide the infrastructure of power plants, waste processing systems and other operations within said industrial sector. Unfortunately, many cyber security products have not been able adapt to evolving threats and the demands of complex industrial systems targeted by a plethora of viruses.

There is now a promising product that claims to have the resolution for industrial security woes. Honeywell Process Solutions are rolling out a fresh innovation to businesses and industrial sectors. Using SMX (Secure Media Exchange) can offer a business high levels of cyber security and protection using multiple technologies which offer full control and transparency to the business and user. Updates and fixes are provided in house by Honeywell creating peace of mind for all involved in the process. This leads to a huge benefit to industrial sites, many of which have restricted USB use to their staff as it allows for flexibility and an increase in productivity by cutting out extra steps required when using outdated processes. For example, there are a large number of systems used within the individual industrial sectors which makes updating these systems through other technologies difficult due to updates from a central point being unable to cater for the diversity in the systems used. Not only are there a large number of individual systems but the longevity required for the systems in this environment means that some systems are outdated while other systems are contemporary which only complicates matters further.

By using the SMX Intelligence gateway to scan files and logging the use of removable media through advancements in a multitude of security measures as touched on above; this combined with ATIX (Advanced Threat Intelligence Exchange) (which uses the cloud in a hybrid environment) there is a more robust and safe option for industrial sectors to be assured when it comes to physically moving their data. There is also a pre-emptive assurance in that the SMX can be detected before they can infiltrate the USB device and ultimately nest in the critical infrastructure within the particular facility.

While the system is currently aimed towards the industrial sector in particular, we at VooServers expect similar systems to be rolled to businesses and consumers alike and will keep an eye on future developments. Although the threats mentioned in the article do not directly affect us and are not that crucial in our environments, the endpoints which connect to the infrastructure with us are the biggest threats so this is still a critical aspect to us and our customers.

By on April 19th, 2017