There is a massive lack of security when it comes to portable thumb drives, external hard drives, MP3 players and the variety in a sensitive environment. It's an alarming situation at many offices that data can quickly and effectively be stolen. That is all, hopefully, about to change.
The IEEE 1667 standard is set out to only allow authorized drives to be connected to a computer. Essentially a company could hand out USB drives to its employees that only work on the computer as authorized by the IT department. This differs from today because this is only offered by third party providers. The key to this implementation is that Microsoft is dedicated to having this feature built into Windows 7.
There are a few other standards out there that do similar things as IEEE 1667. One can only hope that IEEE 1667 gets adopted as the preferred standard. Microsoft is making a big push for IEEE 1667 and hopefully other manufactures will follow suit.