Disabling USB Ports & How to Work Without Them

I'm disabling USB ports for my team in order to tighten things up and help improve/prevent DLP, and meet some requirements that are being externally driven by our customers

Just curious what the preferred method is of instructing them how to work without flash drives going forward. IE emailing things to themselves

Or what happens if you're at a conference and there's an issue with accessing your email or the corporate network, and you need access to the particular file but cannot because the USB ports are now disabled and you couldn't bring a backup copy

Was doing some research online and couldn't find anything. Thoughts?
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Shimshey RosenbergConnect With a Mentor SysAdminCommented:
We have been disabling USBs from all computers in the network, excluding a few machines, which only few people can access them.
Just let users know that removable media devices is not allowed on the network, and they will find ways on how to get stuff back and forth.
Email or cloud storage is an option.

If you cant access your emails during a conference, what will a USB stick help you?
Perhaps you may want to exclude the Conference room machine from this policy
McKnifeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Disabling USB based storage altogether is hard.
You could look at encryption concepts that only allow encrypted storage and encrypt it in a way so that it can only be read on company devices, which guarantees leakage prevention that way:  https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/25879/A-new-aspect-to-securing-USB-data-SID-protectors.html

That will leave "the stick from the street" still readable, but read-only, no writing.
nflynn85Author Commented:
While I appreciate the suggestion, that isn't an option
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nflynn85Author Commented:
Sorry I worded that incorrectly. Was thinking too many things at once

I meant was with USB ports disabled and you're offsite at a conference, but you can't bring a copy on a USB (disabled) and you don't have email access (say the hotel internet is down)....I guess the smart thing to do would be to download it to the laptop ahead of time.

But you're right regardless. Great points across the board
serialbandConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Remember to have all your files and documents readily available locally before you get to the conference.  Forget once, or twice, look like a fool, then you'll remember in the future to be better prepared.  Make sure all presenters have a copy of all the files before you go.  That way, if a computer is down and the internet is down, you'll still have a backup presentation.

Work laptops have a lot of disk space, compared to decades ago.  You should be able to have all your work only items fit.
Ashot OganesyanCommented:
Instead of disabling USB ports I'd recommend to selectively control them. You can control which users or groups can access USB, FireWire ports as well as other removable and Plug-and-Play devices. Check out DeviceLock DLP for that.
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