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Volume 27, Issue 3

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June 21, 2013

Improving Security for USB Drives

A new inspector general report criticizing a government contractor's USB drive security practices is an important reminder of why all healthcare organizations need to control the use of mobile storage media and ports.

"Because USB devices connect directly into computers and can store large amounts of data, they can potentially cause serious harm to computers and networks or compromise sensitive data if their use is not properly controlled," says the report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.

Among the risks posed by USBs are the spread of malware and the inappropriate download, storage and removal of data by users, resulting in breaches or possible fraud.

Security weaknesses such as those identified by the OIG are common throughout healthcare and need to be addressed to help protect patient privacy, says independent IT security consultant Tom Walsh.

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http://www.govinfosecurity.com/improving-security-for-usb-drives-a-5851