USB drives pose a grave data security concern for industries: Report

Bengaluru: Removable media like USBs or pen drives continues to be a serious data breach concern for various industries as this year, 52 per cent of cyber threats were specifically designed to use such removable media, up from 32 per cent in 2021, a new report said on Friday.

According to the report, threats designed to establish remote access capabilities remained steady at 51 per cent, while the number of threats designed specifically to target industrial control systems increased slightly year over year.

At the same time, the malware was more capable of causing a disruption to industrial control systems, climbing to 81 per cent compared to 79 per cent the previous year, according to the ‘2022 Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity USB Threat Report.’

“Adversaries are deliberately leveraging removable media as an initial attack vector to establish remote connectivity, exfiltrate data, and establish command and control,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Connected Enterprise Cybersecurity.

“It’s now clear that USB removable media are being used to penetrate industrial/OT environments, and that organizations must adopt formal programmes to defend against this type of threat to avoid costly disruptions,” he added.

Along with USB attacks, the research highlighted that Trojans remain a top concern because of their potential to cause severe disruption to industrial infrastructure, comprising 76 per cent of the malware detected.

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