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Working Securely: USB data storage devices update

The update:

  • We first wrote about the requirement to control the use of USB data storage devices in October. This was followed with an update on the consultation process in November. Please access the linked content in these articles for all the background information.
  • This planned action stems directly from the ICO audit in early 2020, and is part of the wider Device Security Project to better safeguard our data and systems.
  • From 18 January 2021, we will begin phasing in the USB data storage device block across all managed devices. We will start with Windows managed devices and communicate plans for other platforms early in 2021.


We have been consulting to identify and develop an Exceptions process in agreed situations and circumstances where USB storage devices and other specific device configurations will continue to be needed – primarily in academic research environments – subject to the ICO requirements.

We will continue work through the consultation and Exceptions process in a measured and considered way, engaging via the Helpdesk and direct meetings, with individuals and departments, as needed; to ensure we don’t make changes until we have workable solutions in place for you.

Supporting technology change

If you have any concerns about these technology change processes, please contact the Helpdesk in first instance. Our Helpdesk team is well-equipped to triage enquiries and questions to make sure they reach the correct resolution – and you get a timely response.

  • You can access the Exceptions Request process directly via this link - under 'Request details' select the 'USB Block Policy' option.
  • Self-Service Online - make online requests and report incidents through our web-based tool.

Or contact the Helpdesk directly with any urgent enquiries:

  • Call on 024 765 73737. We're open 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays, and please note, the Helpdesk will be closed, as usual, over the Christmas break).
  • Email at

Security & Information Management is Everyone's Responsibility

Help and support

If you think you detect any unusual online activity, please report it immediately.

 Self-Service Online - make requests and report incidents through our web-based tool ServiceNow
Call us on 024 765 73737. We're open 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Email us at
Who needs to know this?

This information concerns us all. If you use a Warwick staff card, a Warwick email address, access one of our staff or student record systems or share your Warwick work with colleagues within or beyond the University, you are involved in activities that must be kept secure.

Data Protection Officer
The University of Warwick
University House
Coventry CV4 8UW