Every once in a while we still need to sneaker-net our files
across to other machines by way of the ubiquitous USB flash drive. It’s far
more convenient than burnable discs and is easily shareable with others,
especially if sharing files over a local area network or though file-locker services
like Dropbox are unfeasible. That being said, a crafty hacker can lodge some
malicious code on a drive, which can then auto load and take over a system. If
you are looking to take some precautions against accidentally compromising your
PC, a tool by the outfit Dynamikode might be worth investigating.

Product Information

  • Title: USB
    Security Suite
  • Company: Dynamikode
  • Product URL: http://www.dynamikode.com/products/usb-security-suite/
  • Supported OS: Windows XP,
    Vista, 7 and 8

Some additional security

The aptly titled USB Security Suite software utility is just
that, a means of defense on your Windows system against auto-run malware and
other dangerous payloads that can lurk on an unsuspecting flash drive. Not only
will this utility actually scrub a flash-drive clean, but there are also a few
other features included that separates itself from becoming just an also-ran of
anti-virus solutions with a limited niche.

If you want the host system to simply not accept any mass
storage device hardware over any USB port, USB Security Suite can easily block
access to the drives when inserted and, only when a password you set beforehand
is provided, can the USB ports be re-enabled for use with flash drives. This
arguably is more convenient than turning off USB ports at the BIOS level, which
would also have the added repercussion of disabling input devices as well. A
UAC prompt will appear anytime the block is enabled or disabled. Just as a fair
warning, any password you do set blanks out after a system reboot,
necessitating a password reset to resume the secure function.

The password feature is great for keeping
prying hands off the settings

Next up, there is a decent logging system that tracks any
and all activity that occurs on flash drives mounted in Windows. In certain
situations, this can prove advantageous if you need to find out what files were
copied to and from the main hard drive, or if any of them were opened and
modified. I find this capability to work similarly to the Event Viewer in
Windows, but with a more focused scope, so you don’t to read through other
information that isn’t relevant to external storage activity. If you need to
keep more permanent records, logs can be exported to CSV and HTML formats.

Finally, USB Security Suite can prevent USB drives from
contracting any malware from the host PC via the immunizer. You simply select
the drive of your choice and options to prevent an autorun.inf file to be
planted and to fill the remaining storage with zeros. Both of those options can
deter possible malware, but filling a perfectly good volume with a massive DAT
fill file can be wasteful as well as prevent you from adding any more data
yourself without first deleting the filler.

Bottom line

For what it is, USB Security Suite seems like a hodgepodge
of functionality slapped together in one place. Lately, most modern anti-virus
software will typically scan for removable drives and proactively eliminate any
threats before they activate. In Windows Security Essentials for instance, you
can enable automatic removable drive scans without any need to initiate them

The only really interesting feature in my mind would have to
be the USB locking mechanism. The auto-run remover at a basic level works well
enough. But with new kinds of viruses out in the wild, I am unsure if the
utility is really able to best the likes of Symantec or ESET. Then again, USB
Security Suite is best seen as a tool that complements your existing security
setup and not necessarily replaces a process.

At the price of $19.99 for
a single license, plus small discounts included for volume ordering, it’s a
decent price, but I would strongly recommend that you first download the trial
version of the product and see if it works well for your needs. The trial lasts
14 days and has no limitations on use during that time.