When To Use USB Drives For Backup (And When Not To) | DataLocker Inc. 

01.15.22

When To Use USB Drives For Backup (And When Not To)

When archiving or backing up your digital assets or data, there are multiple choices.  While every company’s needs and requirements vary, there is no one-size-fits-all approach or solution to this. Here we’ll look at the advantages and pitfalls of USB drives, the most common storage option used by professionals and individuals for archive and backup

Pros of USB Drives

USB flash drives can be very useful. Many companies and tech-savvy individuals leverage them frequently for backup and added security/privacy.

Here are some advantages of USB drives.

  • Ease of use. USB flash drives are lightweight and portable. 
  • Speed and versatility. USB flash drives are efficient and versatile enough to save and transfer files quickly.
  • Extra storage. USB drives are perfect for everyday use for backup and storage. 
  • Privacy and security. Some USB drives come with advanced protection. Made with password-restricted access, you can protect the data on them through encryption apps.

Cons of USB Drives

USBs aren’t always the best choice for storage. Here’s why:

  • Risk of viruses and malware. Malicious actors can create viruses mainly designed to be transmitted via a USB drive to launch attacks to take over computers, modify files, or install malware on other devices.
  • Damage or loss. A USB drive is excellent for travel as they are small; however, that same advantage makes them easy to lose. The devices can also be stolen, damaged, or dropped, and you wouldn’t know until it’s too late.
  • No password protection. A USB drive doesn’t support password protection. So, in case you misplace your device, anyone can easily plug it in, accessing your data. A USB drive also limits your security level.

USB Drives: What’s The Danger?

Many businesses have lost confidential or sensitive information due to a USB drive or memory stick, with multiple incidents involving malware-infected ones. While USB attacks may sound limited to personal devices, the implications can be enormous.

An example is Stuxnet, a computer worm that infected software at industrial locations in Iran. The virus aimed to target industrial control systems designed by Siemens, conceded the logic controllers of the system, spied on the vulnerable systems, and gave false feedback to make identification even harder. It all started with a USB drive infection/virus.

Wrapping Up

Using USB drives for backups comes with both risks and value. However, you can mitigate those threats and alleviate them if you prepare a response plan strategically. 

Ready to learn what’s involved in secure and safe data restoration and backup plan? Contact DataLocker to ensure data protection and safety, irrespective of the backup method you go with.