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January 4, 2024
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 min read

USB Blocking: Prevent Sensitive Data Sharing from Endpoints

Explore the essentials of USB blocking in modern businesses. Learn about the challenges, effective strategies, and how Strac enhances USB data protection.

USB Blocking: Prevent Sensitive Data Sharing from Endpoints
Calendar Icon White
January 4, 2024
Clock Icon
 min read

USB Blocking: Prevent Sensitive Data Sharing from Endpoints

Explore the essentials of USB blocking in modern businesses. Learn about the challenges, effective strategies, and how Strac enhances USB data protection.


  • Challenges like data leaks via unsecured USB ports and malware threats are prominent concerns.
  • The growing USB Blocker market, set to reach $7.89 billion by 2030, highlights the increasing necessity of these tools in organizational cybersecurity.
  • Effective USB blocking strategies include granular control, real-time monitoring, and ensuring minimal impact on productivity.
  • Strac boosts USB data protection with features like no-code scanning, physical output restrictions, and compliance with key regulations.

The rise of remote and hybrid work model has increased the potential for security breaches Recent findings from Mandiant have revealed a startling three-fold increase in cyber attacks using infected USB drives as an initial access vector in the first half of 2023 alone. 

USB blocking prevents unauthorized data transfer through USB ports. It restricts access to USB ports, thereby mitigating the risk of sensitive data being copied to unauthorized devices, or malicious software being introduced into the network. This blog will explore the key features of USB blocking and how they fit into a broader data security strategy.

The Necessity of USB Blockers in Modern Businesses

The incident at South Georgia Medical Center, where a former employee was able to download private data onto a USB drive without authorization led to data leak. It resulted in the leak of sensitive patient information, including test results, names, and birth dates..

USB blockers are designed to control and monitor the use of USB ports within an organization. By restricting unauthorized devices, these blockers significantly reduce the risk of sensitive data being copied or stolen. 

They also play a vital role in preventing the introduction of malware, which can be easily spread through infected USB drives. In essence, they ensure that only secure and authorized data transfers occur through these ports.

How do USB Blockers Work?

A USB blocker functions by controlling access to the USB ports on computers and other devices within an organization's network. This control can range from completely disabling USB ports to allowing only pre-approved devices to connect. When a non-approved device is plugged in, the USB blocker prevents it from being recognized or accessed by the system. 

Implementing USB blockers in an organization

The implementation process of USB blockers involves several key steps. Initially, it requires an assessment of the organization's data security needs to determine the appropriate level of USB port control. This assessment should consider the types of data handled by the organization, the various roles of employees, and the potential risks associated with USB port usage.

Once the needs are identified, the next step is to select a USB blocker solution that aligns with these requirements. After choosing the right tool, the installation involves configuring the software to align with the organization's specific security policies. This includes the option to encrypt USB drive data to enhance security further.

Finally, the implementation involves training employees on the new protocols and the importance of an encrypted USB drive. This training ensures that staff understand how to use USB ports safely and are aware of the risks associated with unauthorized data transfer.

Key Features of Effective USB Blockers

With the global USB Blocker market reported to grow from $2.71 billion in 2019 to $7.89 billion by 2030, the rising importance of encrypted USB drive and data is evident. Here are the key features that make USB blockers effective.

  • Granular Control
  • Real-Time Monitoring
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility

1. Granular Control

This feature allows administrators to set specific rules and policies for USB device usage. It can range from completely blocking all USB devices to allowing only certain types of devices or devices from specific manufacturers. It can also include setting different policies for different groups or individuals within the organization, depending on their role and data access needs.

2. Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring enables continuous surveillance of all USB port activities within the organization. It can alert administrators immediately when unauthorized devices are connected, or when suspicious data transfer activities are detected. This prompt response is crucial for preventing data breaches and investigating security incidents. 

3. Cross-Platform Compatibility

Effective USB blockers should be compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This ensures that organizations with a mix of different devices and systems can uniformly implement USB-blocking policies across their entire network. 

Balancing Security and Usability

Implementing USB blockers is a critical step towards safeguarding sensitive data. However, it's equally important to balance this security measure with usability to ensure it doesn't hinder employee productivity. This can be achieved by:

  • Selective Blocking: Instead of a blanket ban on all USB devices, organizations can opt for selective blocking, where only certain types of USB devices or those from untrusted sources are restricted. 
  • User Education: Educating employees about the risks associated with unsecured USB usage and the reasons behind the USB blocking policies can foster a culture of security awareness.
  • Temporary Access Permissions: In cases where USB access is necessary for specific tasks, temporary permissions can be granted. This approach ensures that USB usage is monitored and controlled, while still providing flexibility when needed.

Even with USB blocking in place, it's  crucial to have a more effective alternative available.. Encrypting sensitive data adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that even if data is transferred to a USB device, it remains protected. By integrating an endpoint DLP solution like Strac with USB blockers, organizations can create a security environment that is both strong and adaptable.

How Does Strac Ensure USB Data Protection?

Strac is an advanced DLP solution for safeguarding data, whether it's in use, in transit, or at rest on endpoint devices. Here are its key features that make it an essential tool for ensuring USB data protection.

Modern No-Code Scanner

Strac's no-code scanner offers ease of integration and user-friendly operation. It allows organizations to quickly set up and deploy the tool without the need for extensive coding knowledge. The scanner efficiently monitors and analyzes data transfers, ensuring that sensitive information is not inadvertently exposed via USB devices.

Restricting Physical Outputs

One of the primary functions of Strac is its ability to restrict physical outputs, such as printing and USB device usage. This feature is crucial in preventing unauthorized data transfer through physical means.

Comprehensive Data Protection

Strac's comprehensive approach to data protection is designed to comply with stringent regulations like PCI, HIPAA, SOC 2, GDPR, and CCPA. This compliance is critical for organizations that handle sensitive data, as it ensures adherence to legal and ethical standards.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Strac excels in cross-platform capability, offering seamless integration across various operating systems and platforms. This compatibility ensures that organizations can implement Strac across their entire network, regardless of the underlying technology, providing uniform data protection.

PII Redaction API

Strac's Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Redaction API allows for the automatic detection and redaction of sensitive information, ensuring that PII is not exposed during data transfers. This API is particularly useful in maintaining privacy and confidentiality, especially when dealing with large volumes of data.

Don't wait for a security breach to happen! Book a demo to learn more.

Founding Engineer. 9 years at Amazon and AWS.

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