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Gartner: "iPods, other small storage devices pose security risk"

Gartner: iPods, other small storage devices pose security risk
Companies should consider banning them

News Story by Laura Rohde

The iPod may be popular, but it also poses such a major security risk for businesses that enterprises should seriously consider banning it and other portable storage devices, according to a study by research firm Gartner Inc.

The devices, using a Universal Serial Bus (USB) or FireWire (IEEE 1394), are risky because they could be used to introduce malicious code into a corporate network or steal corporate data, the Stamford, Conn.-based research company said in its report, "How to Tackle the Threat From Portable Storage Devices."

The report, published Friday, pointed to a variety of devices, including pocket-size portable FireWire hard drives like those from LaCie Group SA or Toshiba Corp., or USB hard drives or key-chain drives such as the DiskOnKey from M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. Gartner also named disk-based MP3 players, like Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod, as a security risk, as well as digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks and compact flash.

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