DoD Preparing To Lift USB Ban

DoD Preparing To Lift USB Ban
DoD Preparing To Lift USB Ban 

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
Sep 22, 2009

The ban on USB drives that began late last year in the U.S. Defense 
Department will be lifted, but with a caveat: Only DoD-approved or 
procured devices will be allowed.

Robert Cary, CIO for the U.S. Navy, in a recent blog post said Defense 
officials are hashing out the final policy for allowing USBs back into 
the department. The Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command in November 
suspended the use of all USB flash and removable storage devices and 
camera flash cards from all DoD networks after a worm infection spread 
across some DoD networks.

"In the future, we expect that a government-owned and procured USB flash 
media that is uniquely and electronically identifiable for use in 
support of mission-essential functions on DoD networks will be permitted 
for use by authorized individuals," Cary said in his blog. "The bottom 
line is, the days of using personally owned flash media or using flash 
media collected at conferences or trade shows are long gone. What we 
connect to our home PCs is very different from what is and will be 
allowed to occur on DON [Department of Navy] networks."

The Navy is also reducing its reliance on USB flash media, Cary said. 
"...we are working on moving our access to information to the use of 
collaborative workspaces, file shares and portals within our protected 
enclaves. This will reduce our reliance on USB flash media, mitigate 
unnecessary risk to the GIG, and protect our data and information by 
keeping it stored within our network boundaries," he said.


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