New USB Flash Drive Counters Industrial Control System Cyber Security Threats

November 19, 2021 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Lake Forest, CA November 19, 2021 - Nexcopy Inc., a leading manufacturer of advanced flash memory solutions, introduces Lock License USB flash drives which serve as a valuable tool to combat Industrial Control System cyber security threats.

USB flash drives can be a significant security threat for Industrial Control Systems and and the new Lock License USB flash drive by Nexcopy Inc can lead the way in reducing cyber hacks for the ICS industry.

USB flash drives are read / write devices by default and the write capability is a fundamental way malware can spread from control system to control system. The Nexcopy Lock License technology works fundamentally different than all other USB flash drives. The default state of a Lock License drive is write protected, or said another way read-only.

It is important to understand how a virus interacts with a USB device to fully appreciate the above sentence.

A virus designed to spread via USB has two main goals:

1) Spread any way possible via USB connectivity

2) Remain undetected as long as possible.

Because a virus is trying to stay undetected the malware will ping any USB device connected upon power up. Once the virus identifies if the USB device is unusable, the virus will go back into hibernation. For example, if a USB mouse is connected the virus quickly determines this is a HID device (Human Input Device) and does not have memory for the virus to spread it's code. However, a virus will ping a USB flash drive and quickly determine it is read/write and will insert it's code onto the USB flash memory.

Greg Morris, President of Nexcopy comments, "With a Lock License USB flash drive, the device is always write protected. This default state of the flash drive means a virus will identify the USB as read only, leave it alone, and go back into hibernation. Malware does not re-examine devices because the more active a virus is, the more likely the virus will be detected."

The Lock License approach gives the industrial control system complete control on when the USB becomes writable. This implies an engineer can perform all the scans and testing required before allowing the device to become writable.

The old ways of how a virus writes itself onto a USB flash drive is gone, because the Lock License USB is read only.

Software, firmware and other content on a Lock License drive can be read from any control system at any time. However, an encrypted password is required to turn on the write function of the device.

Morris continues, "The default state of a Lock License drive returns when power is cut from the control system, said another way, when the USB is removed from the host. There is no requirement to re-lock the drive, the process is automatic. This fundamental design change means a user will never forget to set the write protection of a Lock License USB drive.

The Nexcopy Lock License USB flash drive has the following features:

#Default state of drive is read-only, a.k.a write protected
#User defines when device becomes writable
#Writenable function is password protected
#Assign unique password to every device
#Write protect state returns automatically when device is disconnected
#Free command line utility for custom applications
#This is a hardware solution so cannot be hacked or manipulated
#Many body styles and colors available
#Available in USB 2.0 and 3.0 technology and ranging from 2GB through 128GB capacities

Stan McCrosky, head of Sales, comments, "This simple configuration change in our manufacturing process creates a game changing way the industrial control sector can fight back against USB cyber threats. Without the USB device being writable, it is impossible for a virus to spread to the device."

The Oxford swivel style flash drive is the in-stock media Nexcopy carries for same day printing and shipping. Nexcopy inventories USB 2.0 media of 2GB and 4GB capacity and in stock USB 3.0 media of 8GB, 16GB, 32Gb, 64GB and 128GB capacities. The in-stock Oxford media is a black body with white swivel clip with full color printing via the Nexcopy Logo-EZ USB flash drive printer.

Product Information:

Lock License Video

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