For the average corporate or home PC user, the initialism "USB" refers to a computer port that makes it very easy to connect devices directly to a machine. With this connection, a person can transfer or copy information to and from a computer with little trouble.
But for security administrators and corporate executives, USB--short for Universal Serial Bus--is taking on an entirely new meaning: ultimate security breakdown.
ZDNet UK's IT Priorities Conference kicked off today by focusing on the perennial problem of IT security and hacking -- one of the top five IT Priorities identified by readers as a major issue over the next three months.
Keynote speaker Martin Smith of the Security Company started proceedings at the one-day conference in London's Park Lane Sheraton by claiming that a lot of mainstream IT security solutions lure people into a false sense of security.
Most firms are gearing up for the introduction of biometric security devices, according to new research.
Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of companies surveyed by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) said they expected workplace iris scanning and fingerprint recognition technology to be used sometime in the future, with 44 per cent expecting to see it used within two years.
However, opinion is divided on the ethical use of biometric security in the workplace. Some 46 per cent of the survey's respondents anticipated some staff or customer resistance to the technology.
Hackers stealing company data and holding it to ransom is a growing trend, warn security experts.
'Cybernappers' take confidential data such as customer lists from backend systems unprotected by the necessary security systems.
Malcolm Seagrave, security expert at telecoms company Energis, said: 'Cybernappers are cashing in on the innate laziness and ignorance that is endemic in businesses when it comes to security issues. Companies that fail to protect themselves are just asking for trouble.
To delude attackers and improve security within large computer networks, security researchers and engineers deploy honeypots. As this growing activity becomes a new trend in the whitehat community, the blackhats study how to defeat these same security tools. Though not everyone agrees on the power of honeypots, they are effective and are being deployed as tools -- and blackhats are already working to find ways to exploit and avoid them. The cyber battle continues.