To err is human. We all make mistakes. It is what makes us human, after all. We can often be careless with our physical products, expecting them to remain safe in our possession without any further thought. But when you arrive to your destination, you realise you dropped your keys, or your wallet, somewhere along the way. The keys an opening to your residence, the wallet containing your financial and identification documents.
These are massive affects for an individual, but imagine dropping a USB filled with thousands of individuals financial and identification documents. Surely, no one will find these documents in the wild, right? They’ll just disappear into the ether.
A 2016 study by the University of Illinois tested that theory, to provide evidence beyond anecdotal beliefs that people will simply pick up a USB and open the files. In the study, U of I dropped 297 USB drives amongst their campus grounds, simulating lost property. The drives contained files for users to access, which in real circumstances could contain either personal data or malware, hazardous for both parties involved.
Of the 297 dropped USBs, 48% of drives were picked up, plugged into computers and files accessed. Along with this, 98% of drives had moved from their original location, indicating that although files were not accessed, there is a possibility these were still plugged into computers (Source: Sophos).
Although the studies intentions were to warn users from plugging in USBs that may contain Malware, this is a serious threat for the original owner. If the USB belonged to a professional carrying confidential personal data, the business would be facing fines of up to $2.1 Million for breaching data laws (Source: OAIC).
The reality is that if you lose confidential documents, it is entirely likely that someone will try to access the files, whether it be for the innocent pursuit of locating the original owner, or the worst case scenario: to use your data against you. SecureUSB will allow you to store your data in an encrypted format, FIPS certified for full protection, so you do not receive any hefty fines.