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Disabling of unencrypted USB storage devices

Unencrypted USB storage devices present a significant risk to the council from both a Cyber Security and Information Governance point of view.

Misplaced devices can be accessed by anyone who finds them and could lead to loss of sensitive information.

Additionally, USB storage devices are a common method of delivery for malware. Either of these types of incident could lead to significant financial loss or reputational damage to the council.

In order to protect against this and in line with accepted Cyber Security best practice, it has been decided to remove all access to USB storage devices on North Ayrshire Council computers from Monday, 4 December.

This will mean that access to any unencrypted USB devices such as pen drives and portable USB hard disks will be blocked from this date.

We anticipate that there are likely to be existing processes which utilise USB pen drives and we would encourage you to consider how these can continue without USB storage devices. IT are happy to assist in finding more secure alternatives. There will be limited exceptions to allow USB storage devices for approved use where there isn’t a practical alternative. Please speak with IT to ensure that exceptions or alternatives can be put in place before Monday, 4 December, in order to minimise any disruption.

We have created a new request type for this purpose in our IT Customer Portal, you can access it here or under the Cyber Security section of the portal.

Additionally, if you have any USB storage devices which you would like to be securely disposed of then these can be handed to IT who will arrange this.

Please note that this change will not affect schools at this time.

IT are currently processing requests for exceptions and alternatives, if this is something you require then please raise a request through the IT Customer Portal.

An image which shows a close-up of a USB device
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