Security Washout : 9,000 USB Drives Left In Launderettes

With the news stories about loss of crucial information creating headlines every now and then, it comes as a real shocker that as many as 9,000 USB sticks have been found by the dry cleaners during the last year, a recent survey revealed.

The study was conducted by the data security company Credant Technologies and focused to scrutinize the ease and regularity with which mobile memory devices, like USB memory sticks are misplaced or forgotten in unconventional locations.

The survey included 500 dry cleaners, who found an average two memory sticks in dirty clothes during the entire year, and the figures were extrapolated among the total number of dry cleaners in UK, which roughly comes around 4,500, according to the figures from Textile Services Association.

A dry cleaner in the London city claimed that he finds an average two USBs per month; in addition, credit cards, Rolex watches, drugs, keys, money, and even a packet filled with diamonds were among the other things found by the dry cleaners surveyed.

Presenting these all important figures, Michael Callahan, Credant Technologies’ chief exec and senior VP said in a statement, “We conducted this survey to show people how easy it is to lose data, even in their local laundrette and that none of us are infallible.”

In addition, people should encrypt all the critical information stored on these removable devices so as to safeguard against any unauthorized access, Callahan added.

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Our Comments

So many USB drives left in dirty laundry indicates one thing; people do not check their pockets before (dry) cleaning their clothes and encryption could have (but certainly wont) been a solution to the data issue. We reckon that the number of USB drives left on the London Transport system or the number of smartphones left in black cabs will certainly be higher.

Related Links

Data security compromised as 9,000 USB sticks taken to the cleaners

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Laundrettes cleaning up on flash drives

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Need a USB stick – try the launderette

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Dry cleaners find 9,000 USB drives

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9,000 USB sticks abandoned in laundrettes

(IT Examiner)

Security is hung out to dry as USB sticks end up in the laundry

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