The Plug and Play (PnP) specifications provide a standard register interface for inserting and connecting new components into or to a personal computer( PC) without conflict. These registers are used by the Basic Input/Output System( BIOS) and the operating system for configuration.
Plug-and-play components can be operated directly after being plugged in; manual configuration by bridges or manufacturer-specific utilities is eliminated, as are the resource conflicts that used to occur. Plug-and-play techniques are defined for the USB interface, IEEE 1394, Peripheral Component Interconnect( PCI), Industry Standard Architecture( ISA), Advanced Technology Attachment( ATA), Line Printer Terminal( LPT), Small Computer System Interface( SCSI), PC Card, and the COM port, and assume that the devices and their respective device driver are uniquely identified and that the devices can be configured using software.
PnP techniques offer the advantage of fast connectivity, but also a great risk in terms of unauthorized data extraction. For example, inserted USB sticks or other peripherals could be used to quickly copy important company data or even inject viruses. For this reason, PnP security is playing an increasing role in IT security.