We Save You Time and Resources By Curating Relevant Information and News About Cybersecurity.

best-cyber-security-news

Cracking the Sneakernet Code: a Cybersecurity Guide

By Tom Seest

What Is Sneakernet In Cybersecurity?

At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.

Sneakernets are systems that physically move data between devices. This method can be useful when networks are unavailable or expensive to operate.
Today, CISOs and security teams must contend with business leaders and executives circumventing corporate controls to move information from device to device or network to network. This poses two problems: efficiency and security.

What Is Sneakernet In Cybersecurity?

What Is Sneakernet In Cybersecurity?

Is Sneakernet Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Sneakernets are physical connections used for data transfer between two systems. They’re often employed when network communication is too costly or complex when information needs to be sent between systems with differing security clearance levels, when bandwidth restrictions are an issue, or when two different networks cannot connect simultaneously.
For instance, illuminAid utilizes sneakernets to transport and share video content among partners in remote regions of the world that lack reliable Internet connections. To achieve this result, partners must physically move the video content on microSD cards from one location to another through various sneakernet techniques.
Data transfer via USB thumb drives is an age-old but still viable method of moving information between computers, though not everyone prefers it. That’s because using removable media like USB thumb drives for data transfers can be challenging due to their vulnerability to malicious malware that bypasses network security measures.
Thumb drives remain popular and useful for sending and receiving files between computers, even though they have security flaws that could leave important data exposed and vulnerable to theft or loss. Despite these drawbacks, thumb drives remain popular today.
Sneakernets have many legitimate uses, such as in places where networks are expensive or unavailable. Furthermore, they provide a secure means for storing and sharing data in sensitive environments.
Election officials in many parts of the United States will be manually transporting voting machine data to a central location using sneakernets. These storage devices offer an even safer alternative than using the internet for sharing data, according to election experts.
Sneakernet is used in many industries, such as healthcare and financial services. It’s particularly efficient at moving large volumes of sensitive corporate data like ledger entries or financial statistics.
Contrary to cloud computing, where data is transferred through a virtualized network, sneakernets require physical transfer between storage devices. This method of transfer can be highly efficient both in terms of throughput and latency (the amount of time it takes for a message to travel from one device to another).

Is Sneakernet Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Is Sneakernet Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Is Sneakernet the Key to Securing Your Data?

Sneakernets in cybersecurity provide an efficient means of moving data between computers without the use of a network. This can be advantageous in many instances where it would be impractical or costly to utilize a wired connection, as well as in environments where security must be a top priority.
For instance, a company may need to send confidential files from an employee’s home office to corporate headquarters. Uploading and downloading through the internet might take several hours, but an employee could simply walk down the street with a flash drive and transfer the data within minutes.
Similar to sending sensitive information from New York headquarters to an operations center in the Philippines, a corporation might require multiple hours for upload and download through the internet. To ensure a successful transfer, the individual transferring the data must be physically present near company servers during this process.
Amazon recently introduced Import/Export, which allows you to ship data stored on a storage device like a USB flash drive and map it directly into their cloud without needing to go through the hassle of transferring through a network.
This service provides a convenient means of moving data on an expansive scale. It can deliver tremendous throughput proportional to the transferred file size, making it more efficient than going through a network for transferring hundreds of gigabytes of information.
However, it’s not the only way to quickly transfer data between computers. There are other methods like using an encrypted USB drive or physical media like CDs or DVDs for this purpose.
These methods may work well for small amounts of data, but they’re not ideal when needing to move hundreds of gigabytes in a short amount of time. In such cases, sneakernet could provide the ideal solution.
Some organizations have already implemented sneakernets, connecting villages in developing countries or universities. In South Africa, for instance, Information Without Borders uses Sneakernet to link schools without internet access by delivering files via motorbike or foot.

Is Sneakernet the Key to Securing Your Data?

Is Sneakernet the Key to Securing Your Data?

Are Sneakernets Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Sneakernets are a convenient and cost-effective way to transfer data between computers without using a network. This method is often employed when an organization needs to quickly move sensitive information to another location or when connecting a local area network would be too costly.
This can be accomplished in several ways, such as physically moving removable media (floppy disks, CDs, USB flash drives, and external hard drives) from one computer to another. Alternatively, data can also be transferred wirelessly using a device like a Wi-Fi dongle or USB port.
Though time-consuming and inefficient, this method can be beneficial for various reasons. For instance, it allows large amounts of data to be sent to a remote location and bypasses network connections or security controls.
Sneakernets can be particularly helpful in cybersecurity when an air-gapped system needs access. Though these systems tend to be secure from attack, they still need points of access for changing or deleting data – which could be problematic due to accidental connections or unauthorized users with access to the system.
However, sneakernet can help prevent such issues from arising. For instance, if an airgapped system experiences issues with its drivers, sneakernet can be utilized to download those drivers and install them on the computer in need of them.
Therefore, this can enhance overall efficiency and cut costs. Furthermore, it enhances file transfer speed for quicker data processing.
For instance, if an airgapped computer is having trouble installing its network card due to inability to download drivers, Sneakernet can assist in solving the issue by downloading necessary drivers and then plugging in the machine. Doing this not only saves time and energy when running a network but also offers great convenience.
Even with the best efforts of corporate CISOs and security teams, there remain numerous cybersecurity weaknesses. These include personal devices and networks, which are often not secured or patched up to the level a corporation would expect. As these devices and networks could potentially be used for work-related activities by executives outside the office, this presents multiple security risks; thus, it is imperative these assets be properly safeguarded.

Are Sneakernets Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Are Sneakernets Still Relevant in Modern Cybersecurity?

Is Sneakernet Putting Your Cybersecurity at Risk?

Sneakernets are networks in which files can be transferred between devices without the use of a computer or wired connection. Unfortunately, sneakernets may lead to data loss and security breaches since sensitive information is often transferred between storage devices. Furthermore, it’s slow and difficult to use in adverse weather conditions or on rough terrain.
Sneakernet networks require significant maintenance and upgrade costs, as well as difficulty in training users on their use. Furthermore, security and monitoring of the network may pose additional obstacles.
However, sneakernet can still be beneficial in cybersecurity. Particularly, it’s useful when sending large files.
For instance, sending a large file between two schools could be transferred to a USB flash drive instead of using the network. Doing this helps guarantee the confidentiality of the information and prevents it from falling into the wrong hands.
It could also be used to send files between businesses or villages. For instance, a company may have a contract with a client that requires it to send sensitive information to another party.
In such cases, businesses might choose to transfer the file onto a USB flash drive that can be sent remotely so the client can review it before making their decision. This is typically faster and more efficient than sending through wired or wireless networks.
A village may opt to utilize Sneakernet to transfer email among its residents. This would facilitate communication among individuals and allow for the sharing of important information.
It can be especially advantageous when there are a large number of residents in a community rather than just a few. Furthermore, schools may use this service to send files to other schools in their vicinity without having access to internet service.

Is Sneakernet Putting Your Cybersecurity at Risk?

Is Sneakernet Putting Your Cybersecurity at Risk?

Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.