April 5 is National Flash Drive Day. We should all agree that this little piece of plastic deserves a day of its own. With its ease of use and accessibility, the flash drive remains useful in many spaces; however, as security threats mount, the flash drive should be moving out of commercial spaces.
Even with the growth of other digital and cloud storage solutions, the flash drive continues to evolve. A device that used to have a maximum storage capacity of 8 megabytes now boasts up to 2 terabytes. In 2018, SanDisk announced a 1 terabyte USB-C flash drive, the smallest of its kind.
The flash drive has an interesting history. In the 1980s, Japanese engineer Fujio Masuoka created the first USB flash drive using a floating-gate semiconductor memory. In the coming years, many parties would claim to be the original investor of the USB flash drive. On April 5, 1999, an Israeli company filed a patent application that was granted later that year. The first commercially-available flash drive was sold in 2000 by a company in Singapore by the name of Trek Technology. Despite years of lawsuits, multiple parties still claim to be the original inventor and the claims persist.
Did you know? The word “flash” is rumored to originate from the device’s quick erasure technology, similar to the fleeting nature of a camera flash.
Flash memory compiled older, low-cost technologies. Though limited in capacity, the small size and accessibility made them quite popular. Flash memory would go on to be incorporated into many small, cheap devices, such as low-cost MP3 players.
Fast forward to 2021, is there still a use for the flash drive? Certainly, its accessibility and simplicity still has a place for quick, secure, offline file transfers. Even in a world as technologically progressive as ours, there is still a need for simple, offline tools. However, flash drives can also pose a significant security risk. A flash drive is a physical device that a bad actor can easily acquire, should you leave it on a desk or table for even a minute. A flash drive can be used as an access point to acquire internal data, which can provide access to unauthorized users and leave your system vulnerable. In additional to simple storage, commands and actions can also compromise a system’s integrity simple by plugging a flash drive into a USB port.
But as the need to leverage more and more data in an interconnected web of devices grows, the flash drive should be a very small part of your storage solutions. Cloud storage and computing is an outcome of years of steady progression that started with centralized mainframes, moved to distributed client-server paradigm, and transitioned to a SaaS and browser-based ecosystem; it is now migrating towards edge computing concepts.
As data scientists Prachi Deshpande and Subhash Sharma write in Security and Data Storage Aspect in Cloud Computing, the Internet completely changed how we communicate and work. As more of both began moving online, “…it had given rise to the complexity and security issues many folds as compared to its previous counterparts. Here came the Cloud computing technology with answer to the many problems with its previous technologies and with new subsets of issues to be addressed.”
While flash drives deserve to be celebrated, technology is moving on. It is necessary for every business to move their data and IT infrastructure partially or entirely into the Cloud. Cloud computing can expand your access to flash memory on an enterprise level, offering cost-effective and secure solutions.
Additionally, computing brings with it many advantages, such as:
- Increased security
- Increased flexibility, mobility and collaboration
- Disaster recover and loss prevention
…and so much more. And Cloud computing isn’t just a fancy term or a tool for convenience. A recent report by Dell Technologies finds that companies investing in big data, cloud computing, and digital mobility benefitted from up to 53 percent in revenue growth.
As data storage and security continues to evolve, we can provide a team of experts to collaboratively manage your data storage, hosting, and all your IT infrastructure needs. Contact Tigunia today to get answers to your specific IT infrastructure questions or to get a technology assessment.