The uses of GPS technology are almost endless. Originally developed for military purposes, it quickly became obvious that it could also be used for a multitude of everyday applications. Modern, non-military uses include navigation in cars and other vehicles, emergency services, tracking of ships, map making – the list goes on. Pretty much anything can be fitted with a GPS receiver. And now GPS technology is being used to protect valuable digital data stored on USB flash drives.
Whilst USB drives are excellent for carrying around documents, media and other material they are also an absolute nightmare when it comes to data loss prevention and mobile data security. We have all lost at least one and 70% of British companies admit to losing USB devices containing important information. Leaving them in someone else’s machine or misplacing them is all too easy.
Industry experts estimate that as many as 20 million USB flash drives are lost every year – a truly staggering figure. In most cases the data on lost devices is of little worth or interest to anyone other than the owner. However larger companies/governments use and transfer sensitive, often personal data, on a daily basis. Unfortunately these organisations are no better at keeping hold of their devices than everyone else. As a result there is a massive market for data loss prevention and mobile data security products. Secure USB devices account for a huge part of this market but some are more secure than others…..
Security Guardian is a secure USB device from British company ExactTrak. It has all of the standard features of a secure flash drive with the added benefits of GPS tracking. It uses GPS in two ways;
Historical data can be accessed through the control panel and you can see exactly where your drive has been. This is extremely useful for finding out where a lost device was taken to when out of your possession. The historical data also helps you work out of your drive fell into someone elses hands. Did it stay in the car park where you dropped it? Or was it taken somewhere it shouldn’t have been? GPS lets you find out.
As well as the ability to access the historical data, Security Guardian can also be tracked live so you can see the current location of your missing device. This is an invaluable tool to recovering any device that may contain sensitive/valuable information. After all, the quickest way of finding something is working out where it is.
The addition of GPS to this already secure USB device takes the product to the next level. Accurately knowing where the lost/stolen device is allows the owner to make a decision based on the location. If it’s clear that the device is simply lost and can be safely recovered then no action needs to be taken other than recovery. If, however, the device is clearly somewhere it shouldn’t be you can take decisive action and wipe the hard drive destroying anything stored on the device.
This is yet another example of the versatility of GPS and how it can be added to an existing concept to add value. There is little doubt that GPS will become a main stay of the mobile data protection industry as the information it provides is so useful. This is especially true in a time of increasing ’bring your own device’policy which sees employees using their own laptops and other devices for work.