A convenience which may make data security harder

Yesterday I read about the Cloud Engines Pogoplug in the Wall Street Journal. And as I read the article I kept thinking how this device will make it harder to secure corporate data.

Some consumers like the idea of storing files with a Web service, so they can retrieve and share them while they are on the go. But they aren’t keen on the monthly fees some storage-services charge.

So a San Francisco startup called Cloud Engines Inc. has developed a way to do much the same thing with technology users keep at home. Just plug your computer’s external disk drive into the Pogoplug, a nondescript little gadget the company has developed, using a familiar USB connector. Another plug connects using an Ethernet cable to a user’s home router, which connects to the Internet. (The set-up allows the Pogoplug to be accessible to traveling users even when their PCs are not turned on). Once the device is installed, all the music, videos or other files on your hard drive are viewable through a Web browser.

Some external disk drives say they can do this now, but they require more setup, Cloud Engines says. And with Pogoplug, there are no monthly fees.

Imagine that you have a disgruntled employee who gets laid off because of the tough economic times. Articles already are pointing out that the disgruntled former employee may take your corporate data. Now all they will have to do is put it on the external drive or memory stick and there it is available on the web. Devices like the Pogoplug may finally spur corporations to encrypt their data, will they react before data thefts occur or after?

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