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Pod slurping – the mounting threat to your network

  • 20 September, 2006 10:42

<p>London, UK, 19 September, 2006 – GFI, an international leader and developer of network security, content security and messaging software, has today launched a white paper about the new and increasing threat of ‘pod slurping’. The paper explores the threat posed by portable storage devices and considers security measures that should be implemented in addition to perimeter solutions such as firewalls and anti-virus software.</p>
<p>Developments in portable data storage technology are moving rapidly and today’s MP3 players and flash memory devices have huge storage capabilities. Easy connectivity and high speed data transfer means that by simply plugging a device into a USB or FireWire port, a data thief can get away with more information than ever before. This increasing leakage, ciphering and disclosure of corporate data has been coined as ‘pod slurping’.</p>
<p>There is no denying that these devices are increasingly popular – by 2009 it is expected that shipments of iPods and other MP3 players will surge to nearly 124 million units (Worldwide and U.S. Compressed Audio Player 2005-2009 Forecast). But as the popularity of these gadgets grows, there is a real risk that these innocent looking gadgets can be used with more malicious intent. While in the past it was more difficult for corporate data thieves to operate without drawing attention to themselves – leaving the office with arms full of confidential files tends to be noticed – methods today, including slurping, are much more discrete. Warnings of the security risks associated with the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices have been around for some time but today data theft is widely considered to be a plague on modern business. It is increasingly important that companies take appropriate steps to protect their network from pod slurping attacks.</p>
<p>The white paper looks at the simple process of data slurping and some of the ways that organizations can combat the risk. The devices that can be used to ‘slurp’ large volumes of corporate information include iPods, digital cameras, USB sticks and flash drives. Any device with storage capabilities also has the ability to slurp, but some of these tools are used in business on a daily basis and while it has been implemented by some organizations, a blanket ban is not always a practical solution.</p>
<p>“Data slurping is a very simple and automated process. It doesn’t require any special technical expertise to steal a company’s data using a portable storage device,” said Simon Azzopardi, Managing Director EMEA, GFI. “A company needs to protect its network by introducing technological barriers that enable control over data transfers throughout the network.”</p>
<p>To download a copy of the white paper, please visit http://www.gfi.com/whitepapers/pod-slurping-an-easy-technique-for-stealing-data.pdf.</p>

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