Disable USB Storage Devices on Windows®

Written by Natalie Bluhm on March 14, 2018

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Many an endpoint has been compromised because the end user stuck a random USB (universal serial bus) thumb drive in their machine. In fact, a study by the University of Illinois even found that 50% of people who find a lost USB drive will insert it into their computer, and 70% of those people don’t even take any security precautions. This is terrifying considering the type of malware that can be loaded onto a USB storage device. Thankfully, it has never been easier to disable USB storage devices on Windows® systems.

Before we get to that though, let’s spend a little more time on why IT organizations should disable USB storage devices across their Windows fleet.

The Dangers of USB Storage Devices

Why you would want to Disable USB Storage Devices on Windows

There are a couple of ways that USB storage drives can seriously compromise a company. First, there are many Trojans and worms that will auto-run once the USB drive is in the computer (Make Use Of). If a system doesn’t have the right security policies enabled, many of them will end up being successful. Not only can malware harm the endpoint, but the right malware can exfiltrate files or any other data existing on the system. All it takes is a USB device landing in the hands of an unsuspecting user, and a hacker could have access to mission critical information.

Between messing with your Windows system and accessing company data, USB storage devices pose a high risk in today’s highly networked environments. It’s simply not worth the risk to let end users attach USB storage devices to their machines, and there are a number of alternatives to shuttle data and files around without needing to attach a device to your machine. The good news is that IT admins using JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® won’t need to rely on end users to do the right thing. Instead, JumpCloud admins can rest assured knowing their Windows systems have increased protection from USB-based attacks.

Use JumpCloud to Disable USB Storage Devices on Windows

The JumpCloud System Policy - Disable USB Storage Devices on Windows

With JumpCloud’s Policies feature, IT admins have the capability to apply security features across fleets of Windows, Mac®, and Linux®  systems. This includes the ability to easily set a policy to disable USB storage devices on their Windows machines. The policy can be applied to any group of machines the IT admin desires (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Should an end user try to circumvent the policy, it will be reapplied within sixty seconds or less.

Disabling USB storage devices on Windows machines can be a significant step up in security, and with a cloud directory, it is easy to do across your entire fleet of Windows machines.

There’s More to JumpCloud than Security Policies

Learn more about how to Disable USB Storage Devices on Windows with JumpCloud

Not only does JumpCloud help you lock down your fleet of systems with policies, but our comprehensive directory services help you securely manage user authentication to IT resources with security features like Multi-Factor Authentication, and Password Complexity Management.  From one pane of glass, IT admins can centrally control user access to systems, servers (local and cloud), applications (legacy and web-based), file storage (physical and virtual), and networks (wired and wireless).

It’s safe to say that JumpCloud is a win for end users and IT admins: users gain frictionless access to all of their IT resources, and IT admins can fortify their environment while making their jobs easier.

Find Out More

Please drop us a note if you are interested in learning more about how to disable USB storage devices on Windows. Curious enough to test it out for yourself? Sign up for a free account. You will be able to test all of our available JumpCloud Policies along with all of our directory services features. The best part is your first ten users are free forever.

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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