Every day there’s a new headline about cyber attacks and data breaches. The ever increasing sophistication of these attacks and the expanding vulnerabilities due to the rise of mobile computing have made all organizations take a harder look at their data security. In particular, financial institutions, in light of the Global Payments data breach are once again rethinking data security and beginning to adopt new fraud fighting techniques as well as technologies. A quick Google search of the latest headlines under data security/breaches and it’s clear that the battle seems to shift from one side to the next in the ongoing war. For example, Anonymous launched attacks on China, as well as on two telecom/technology trade groups working with new tactics. At the same time, the next generation of cyber security managers was among teams from 10 universities competing in the 7th annual National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. These collegiate competitors are ready to join the fight against data theft. Each side makes a move and the other side makes a counter move. It is clear that many industries and enterprises have made great strides in protecting their data. For example, financial services firms have always been ahead of the game when it comes to data security. The very nature of the data that they collect and store makes them a prime target for cyber thieves. And with the wave of crimes by groups like Anonymous and the big data breach that affected Visa, MasterCard and American Express, the public has become more aware and is applying pressure on firms to step up their security efforts. “The reality is that the people who are looking to commit fraud are targeting anybody who has Internet access to applications that allow money to be moved,” comments Ben Knieff, Director of Nice Actimize, a company that provides financial crime, risk and compliance solutions to the banking and credit industries. Outside of the retail banking area, hackers could target asset managers, wealth managers, even investors who have access to online assets, relates Knieff. Other experts have weighed in on the subject of who is winning the cyber war. On the side that the “bad guys” are winning is Steven Sprague. Steven Spraque, CEO of Wave Systems recently stated, “Over the past year, the heads of the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Defense Department’s new Cyber Command and other top officials across government and industry have flatly stated that they can’t protect their IT systems from unauthorized intrusion. U.S. intelligence agencies have actually named China and Russia as the main sources of cyber attacks and alleged which groups in China actually performed attacks – diplomatic and economic consequences be damned.” And on the side of the “good guys” winning the war is Chirantan Desai, Senior Vice President of the Enpoint & Mobility Group at Symantec. Chirantan stated in a NetworkWorld article, that “… we are winning when you consider the headlines are driven by a tiny fraction of successful attacks while the vast majority of attempts are nipped in the bud. Security professionals are like the police – we don’t expect the police to eradicate crime altogether, but they play a critical role in preventing criminals from winning that war.” It definitely seems that as one side gets more sophisticated the other must as well. At this point, it seems as though the battle is still waging and no one side has fully won the war against data theft. And as businesses and society continue the move to increased digital mobility, there will be more ways for hackers to obtain data, and new battles will be waged, strategies updated and tactics undertaken. It is clear that a mobile flash drive like LOK-IT is a tactic that many organizations have already instituted in their ongoing battle against data breaches. Whether healthcare entities, governments or large enterprises, many are using encrypted flash drives with strong protection. Unlike other drives that are reliant upon software authentication, LOK-IT does not require entering the password with a keyboard or mouse attached to the host computer. On the LOK-IT drive, authentication is securely managed through entry of a user PIN via a PIN-pad residing on the device itself. There is no software at all, so there’s no need for an unlocked partition to contain that software. Therefore LOK-IT drives have a significant advantage in security; the host computer never sees – and absolutely cannot see – the user’s PIN.