IBM bans employees from using flash drives, SD cards: 4 things to know

IBM released an advisory to employees worldwide banning the use of removable storage devices, The Register reports.

Here are four things to know about the policy change.

1. Shamla Naidoo, global chief information security officer of IBM, wrote in the advisory some segments of IBM already had a policy in place prohibiting the use of "removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive)" to transfer data. The advisory expanded this policy to all staff worldwide.

2. Ms. Naidoo explained the policy shift, which IBM will be implementing during the next few weeks, is due to "the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices."

3. There has been some staff pushback to the new policy, according to The Register. One key concern among frontline staff is the ability to download software patches, since staff often used USB drives to install these patches on various devices.

4. In an update to its initial story, The Register said IBM is reportedly considering a few exemptions to the ban on removable storage devices, which might include using these devices during software updates.

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