When It Comes To USB, Will Enterprises Follow Where Consumers Lead?

Businesses haven't exactly raced to deploy USBs on a wide scale. Will better manageability help change that?

May 2, 2006

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Pick-up of USB drives in the consumer world has been rapid, but not so much in the business arena???at least, not on an official basis. We all know plenty of these come creeping onto the network on an unofficial basis???heck, just think how many you might pick up as a souvenir from Interop alone. Msystems, the patent holder for the USB flash drive, this time isn???t out to solve the problem of blocking the unauthorized use of these devices on your network (it took that on with its mTrust Shield product, a companion to its mTrust Drive product for encrypting USB devices). At Interop its news will focus on mTrust Manager, which tackles what enterprises see as the thorny issue of managing these small-scale devices. I A central server that pushes an agent to USB fla sh drives, it allows these drives to be automatically provisioned, assigned to users, and integrated with Active Directory and directory services for policy enforcement, centrally configured and updated, remotely unlocked if users forget a password, and even terminated if lost or stolen. (Think of it as a poison pill, with a drive automatically formatting itself once it???s plugged into a system.) On top of that, it will also feature backup and restore operations that can be integrated with your organization???s existing backup infrastructure so it???s easy to reprovision a new drive to a user. It also keeps an audit trail of every file copied or modified to a USB device.

Problem solved or solution in search of one? One might argue the latter given that enterprises haven???t adopted the technology in force???...or the former in that, according to the vendor???s findings, security and management issues are the reason they haven???t. It won???t solve every management concern yet, though???there???s some basic level of integration (for instance, via SMTP, events can be sent to Openview, Tivoli or Unicenter management consoles), but there will be a bit of a wait before msystems integrates key functions into other asset management software.

Nimrod Reichenberg, director of marketing for enterprise solutions for msystems, expects traction in industries, such as financials, health care, and government, that need to mobilize data and demand security and useage monitoring capabilities. And that???s just for starters, he says, noting it's going into advanced trials with key Fortune 500 accounts. ???No one doubts USB drives really increase productivity,??? he says. ???There are good use cases and increased productivity???IT has to respond.???

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights