Cyberian

IBM bans workers from using all removable storage devices, like USB sticks

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The fear of “leaks” is spreading.

IBM reportedly won’t let its employees use any removable storage devices, like USB drives, SD cards, and flash drives. According to The Register, the company informed employees of the change in written advisory, stating that the new policy was to avoid leaks and security breaches.

“The possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost, or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimized,” chief information security officer Shamla Naidoo reportedly wrote.

The policy affects all “removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive).” Which is pretty rich coming from a computer chip company.

What’s IBM up to that it’s imposing this rather clunky security measure? Quantum computing. Recently, it unveiled a computer smaller than a grain of salt. And in September 2017 it announced the grant of $240 million for a research center at MIT called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, that will work on developing hardware to power AI.

The policy is a disruption for IT professionals who need to install patches for their clients at IBM. But, with security as IBM’s priority, apparently the IT guys and gals will just have to deal.

Mashable has reached out to IBM to confirm reports of this policy, and get more information on what’s behind the change. We will update this story when and if we hear back.

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