The Corporate Risks Associated with Obsolete Computer Equipment

Contributed by Daniel G. James

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 Many people may not ever think about these risks as their new computer or laptop is installed and their old outdated machine is hauled off.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.

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