USB Cyber Security

USB Cyber Security

USB cyber security refers to the measures and practices to secure and protect data and systems from threats and vulnerabilities. USB devices cyber security has gained attention in recent years. Because USB devices are widely used for data transfer and storage, but they can also pose cyber security risks. Malicious USB devices are essentially USB devices modified to attack in malicious ways when plugged into a computer or USB-enabled devices.

USB Cyber Security Threats

Employees are the greatest cyber security threat (Human Factors in Cybersecurity). Carelessness and negligence are the top two insider threats, concerning 71% and 68% of organizations, respectively (Insider Threat Report 2016). Hardware attacks exploit such weaknesses through extremely deceptive social engineering techniques to have their attack tool. Such as a manipulated malicious USB devices, brought inside the organization.

Free iPhone chargers getting handed out at the local coffee shop might come as a pleasant surprise to an unwitting employee. But, by mindlessly accepting the “gift”, the employee has, in fact, picked up a malicious USB device used in USB attacks.

Bad USB Devices

Fin7 Hackers Strike Using Malicious USB Devices

USB Cyber Security has become a critical concern in the face of rising threats like the Fin7 hacker attacks. The use of malicious USB devices poses a serious risk to organizations and individuals alike. In early 2022, the FBI announced that hardware attack tools got sent to various US entities (FIN7 hackers target US companies with BadUSB devices), disguised as an Amazon gift voucher in the form of a USB thumb drive. In addition to taking advantage of human greed, bad actors manipulate fear and uncertainty.

Like in the Amazon example, the FBI found that perpetrators were fraudulently impersonating the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) and sending packages containing malicious USB devices, disguised as important COVID guidelines. Whether disguised as a gift or containing important information, the benign appearance of the device trumps any cautionary instincts… And a 30% increase in USB usage in 2020 means attackers have a good chance of success (significant increase in USB threats).

Too Good to be True? It Probably Is

Now, you might be thinking that, despite the likelihood of an employee unwittingly using a Rogue Device, there are security solutions in place to counteract any successful social engineering attempts. Well, here is where the problem gets worse. Malicious USB devices impersonate legitimate devices. Going undetected by existing cyber security solutions, such as EPS, EDR, XDR, DLP and IDS.

The lack of physical layer visibility means such security tools cannot identify the malicious USB device. Instead recognizing it as the legitimate device it impersonates. By exploiting the visibility blind spot, the device is free to send keystrokes that can execute a malware payload. Steal confidential data, move laterally throughout the network, and more.

Attackers are finding value in USB devices, with threats designed for USB cyber security exploitation increasing by 37% in 2020.

For any organization, this is a significant cyber security risk. But for critical infrastructure entities, such as the US defense company, the cyber security risk impacts national security. In fact, critical infrastructure is highly susceptible to hardware based attacks. As malicious USB are the only entry point into air-gapped networks.

USB Cyber Security with Sepio

Employees are highly vulnerable to social engineering techniques. Meaning enterprises must implement security solutions to provide an extra layer of protection. However, current security software fails to detect malicious USB devices and other Rogue Devices due to a lack of Layer 1 visibility. This leaves a massive hole in defense capabilities.

Sepio’s platform provides a panacea to gaps in device visibility. Ensuring you are getting the most out of your cybersecurity investments. Sepio integrates with existing solutions, such as NAC, EPS, SIEM and SOAR, to enhance the enterprise’s cybersecurity posture.

Sepio’s deep visibility capabilities mean no device goes unmanaged. The solution identifies, detects, and handles all IT/OT/IoT devices. Moreover, the solution’s policy enforcement mechanism and Rogue Device Mitigation capabilities instantly block any unapproved or rogue hardware, including USB Cyber Security. In doing so, Sepio enables a Zero Trust Hardware Access approach, which stops attackers at the first line of defense.

While we can’t stop the appeal of an unexpected gift, we can stop the threats that such a “gift”, a malicious USB device, poses to cybersecurity.


As cyber threats, particularly malicious USB attacks, continue to grow in complexity and stealth, the demand for advanced, all-encompassing solutions is more crucial than ever.

Sepio takes the lead in guaranteeing that IT (Information Technology), OT (Operational Technology), IoT (Internet of Things), and peripheral infrastructures not only receive protection but also demonstrate resilience in the face of the ever-evolving landscape of USB Cyber Security threats.

This holistic strategy is essential for organizations aiming to secure their hardware and data from the increasingly intricate hardware attacks.

See every known and shadow asset. Prioritize and mitigate risks.
Talk to an expert. It will help you understand how to use Sepio’s patented technology to gain control of your asset risks.

January 10th, 2022