Feature

Software Protects Against Data Loss to Storage Devices

These days, who isn't worried about employees walking off with valuable data copied onto a USB drive? Fabiana Gower certainly was. She's the vice president of information systems at Martin Fletcher, a health care staffing firm with 120 employees in Irving, Texas. So she went in search of a technology to lock down data from any unauthorized portable media.

"I spent a long time trying to find a way to lock those USB ports down and really didn't find anything until SecureWave," says Gower, who spent what she considers to be a reasonable amount to install the company's Sanctuary product two years ago. SecureWave says pricing ranges from $10 to $45 a seat.

The software lets IT give and take away permissions for copying to any external device such as CDs, diskettes or USB storage devices. It can also designate the specific time or document for which permission is granted. "I can even make an image of anything that [an employee] did copy, so if I need it later for reference, I know exactly what they took home," Gower says.

But it turns out that with a VPN, Web-based email and customer relationship management software accessible over the Web, Martin Fletcher employees hadn't been taking home files anyway, Gower says. Thus, installing SecureWave was a preventative measure. Says Gower: "I have always been extremely proactive with our security."

Anne McCrory is editorial director of CIO Decisions and the CIO Decisions conference. Write to her at amccrory@ciodecisions.com.

This was first published in October 2006

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