Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Secure is Your Data?


It is common knowledge that computers store information on hard disk drives.

What we must also be aware of is that many of our printers, multifunctional printers and copiers may also use hard disks that record and store data. It is the data that remains on these hard disks once you have disposed of the equipment that could pose a security risk.

Security of data is a legal requirement under the UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act. This requires us to ensure the complete removal of all data from redundant equipment which is essential if we are to maintain the security and integrity of data. Failure to comply could result in a £500,000 fine or even a prison sentence.

So what security options are available for these hard drives?

Below is an overview of options available to those of us who identify concerns related to hard disk security on MFPs and printers. These options address security issues during the equipments service life and at the time of return.

Data Overwrite Security System (DOSS):
DOSS overwrites the sector of the hard drive used for data processing after the completion of each job. During the overwrite process, all data is destroyed to prevent recovery. Additionally, DOSS also offers the option of overwriting the entire hard drive up to eight times. This feature may be used at the end of the lease or if the device is moved to another department. Overwriting the entire hard drive takes a few hours and can be added before or after the initial sale.

Hard Drive Encryption Option:
This option provides security for information that needs to be stored on the MFP or printer and used again. Examples of information that may need to be stored for reuse include administrator and user passwords and address books. The Hard Drive Encryption Option differs from DOSS in that the information encrypted is not destroyed, but locked up so only authorised users may access the information. DOSS destroys data so it cannot be reused. The Hard Drive Encryption Option and DOSS may be used in conjunction and will not interfere with MFP or printer operation.

Hard Drive Surrender at Lease-End/Trade-in:
Copyrite is able to offer customers a hard drive surrender option with which customers may elect to have our technicians remove the hard drive from the device and leave it in the custody of the customer before the equipment is removed from the site. Customers then have the discretion to maintain or destroy the hard drive.

If any of the above has made you question your own data security and you would like to discuss any of the above issues then please feel free to contact us.

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