Disable USB in the BIOS, lock BIOS with passwords prior to distribution to system owner.
I would counter this by transferring information off to a network device prior to putting it on my USB, if that is in fact what I needed to do (assuming I'm doing this to get my job done, cause some lame security zealot thinks that blocking USB will actually increase security). If I wanted to steal data off the system, I'd transfer it off to another via the network, bluetooth, or some other mechanism, or simply remove the hard drive (assuming it is not encrypted, or is poorly encrypted as it is likely to be in a scenario where the IT staff feels that preventing USB access is going to do anything more than make it difficult for people to get their job done).
NOTE: None of the above applies for secure systems that are in a controlled environment and are off-network. In those places, disabling USB makes perfect sense, to prevent quick and easy transfer of the data (because the systems are secured from physically removing the drive, and other data transfer mechanisms are also restricted). In those scenarios, I'd simply bribe a guard or threaten to reveal the embarrassing secret of someone who can get the information for me. Or just take a picture with my cleverly concealed camera (it looks like a button, doesn't it?).