By: Bob Tarzey, Service Director, Quocirca
Published: 19th December 2011
Copyright Quocirca © 2011
Network and security devices age just like any other IT equipment. As the IT industry moves toward 100 gigabit/second Ethernet and 100 megabit/second broadband connections, many existing devices will no longer cope with traffic volumes. The need to replace routers, firewalls, load-balancers, content filtering devices etc. is an on-going process.
Some devices may be reusable by smaller organisations and have a second-hand value; others may just be fit for the dump; when the latter is the case they must be disposed of in line with environment regulations such as the UK Environment Agency’s waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive.
Either way, such devices will end up in the hands of third-parties, and their eventual destination will not be guaranteed. These devices have all sorts of confidential data and settings stored on them, such as user details and network access settings. In the wrong hands these could be used to gain access to private networks, and anyway, the leaking of such data may constitute a data privacy breach. If is therefore necessary to ensure all such data is securely deleted before devices are disposed of.
It varies by industry, but a recent Quocirca research report shows that around 40% of all organisations said they were not confident all such data was safely removed prior to device deposal. Quocirca suspects that even those who claim to have done so have not actually shredded data but just “deleted” it, and a determined hacker may still be able to retrieve it. Only audited disk shredding or secure reformatting tools, carried out by screened staff, can ensure such devices are completely safe to dispose of.
To see the full research behind this and get a free copy of Quocirca’s report – “Conquering the sys-admin challenge” – click here http://www.osirium.com/alpha-files/wp
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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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