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Data Security: Simple Steps to Block USB Ports

Needless to say, the most common method for data leakage is through USB/Pen drive/Mass storage devices. Leakage is also high through PCs/laptops that get infected by viruses/malware.
Most corporations have centralized control for usage of such devices. However, such controls are desirable in the offices of Chartered Accountants/CPA firms, as they have critical databases of their clients. It’s generally observed that the Data Security Policies of CA/CPA firms are relatively weak and can be easily compromised.
In this article, we’ll explore the simple steps for blocking USB Ports i.e. blocking of Pen Drive/Mass Storage Devices.
Please note: No software is required for controlling such devices. (Yes. It’s free of cost. So, go ahead (:-   )

There are 2 options to achieve our objective:
  1. Through the Registry
  2. Through the Device Manager
#Through the Registry:
  1. Go to Start > Run , type “regedit” and press enter to open the registry editor
  2. Navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesUSBSTOR
In the right pane, select Start and change the value to 4 (the value 3 is to enable USB Storage). Click OK. This will disable your USB port.
Please remember:
Value
Function
3
To enable USB Port
4
To disable USB Port
The change will be effective immediately, however sometimes a reboot may be required. This hack will ensure that all the USB storage devices are disabled/blocked or enabled, according to your choice.

#Through the Device Manager:
  1. Go to Start > Run , type “Device Manager” and press enter to open the Device Manager
  2. Navigate to the following key: Universal Service Bus Controllers
  3. The list of installed devices will appear. Select and right click. Select ‘Disable Option’ from the menu.


Please note: The above controls will work only if your PCs/Laptops are using the Admin password. Otherwise, anyone can redo i.e. enable USB again and fly away with your confidential data.

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