This paper will discuss the risks posed by obsolete computer equipment in a corporate environment. Many people may not ever think about these risks as their new computer or laptop is installed and their old outdated machine is hauled off. However, those who are security minded will immediately inquire what is to be done with the old drive that is still full of data? The answer to this question varies by organization. Surprisingly there are companies who simply do nothing more that palletize old equipment and auction it off! Other companies have a more reserved approach and take the time to format the hard drives before donating them to charity, needy families, employees, or a local public school system. Each of these scenarios has large data security risks that have not been considered before action was taken. The data on these devices could cost the company millions or perhaps billions of dollars based on the type of data present. Each data storage device has its own level of risk. Data storage devices can include servers, desktop and laptop computers, printers, copiers, scanners, CD\RW, DVD\RW, floppy disk, USB thumb drives, DLT tapes, and the list goes on. This paper will reveal some of these risks and offer some possible solutions. Although risks are common among all corporations the solutions will vary based on application. This paper is intended to raise the awareness of these risks and get you started on the road to minimizing these risks to an acceptable level or eliminating them all together.
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