Technical developments and improvements in the manufacturing of flash storage allow one to save a large amount of data in the smallest of spaces. A large advantage over the common practice of saving to optical disc is the very short access time of flash. USB sticks play a large role in the flash memory market, as they provide easy handling, resistance against wear and tear, and compact dimensions. In many ways, they are the ideal mobile storage medium.
Finally, the low price of this memory medium contributes to its widespread use. Eight dollars for a USB stick with a capacity of 1 GB is not uncommon.
Data Theft, USB, And You
USB sticks can become a threat for companies however, because of how ubiquitous they are and how easy they are to lose. Regular USB sticks, along with MP3 players and cell phones, can be connected to the USB port of any computer, which identifies them as common hard drives. So nothing stands in the way of copying sensitive data onto these media, unless suitable precautions are taken to prevent it.