02:21 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
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Recycled Storage Media Includes Confidential Data

We've said it before and often: if it's ever held data, don't throw it away no matter how sure you are it's been wiped clean. Now there's evidence that you shouldn't recycle old media either.

We've said it before and often: if it's ever held data, don't throw it away no matter how sure you are it's been wiped clean. Now there's evidence that you shouldn't recycle old media either.Imation, which makes storage tapes, has announced findings that indicate what many have long suspected: there's next to no way to remove all data from a tape (or other medium.)

Which makes re-using the tapes nearly as problematic as throwing them away. (And in most ways more problematic: recycled media remains in use and accessible; at least materials thrown in the trash have a chance of clogging our landfills instead of being mined for unerased data.)

Imation's case rests on the sheer capacity of modern backup media: if even a fraction of a percent of the material on a half-terabyte tape persists after "cleaning," that's multi-megabyte confidential business or personal information headache (or worse) waiting to happen.

The company purchased an assortment of recycled (and supposedly wiped) tapes from the recycled media market, tested them, and found everything from hospital patient records to bank audit information, credit card numbers and more.

Just as Maxell's Halloween backup promotion covered here yesterday recommended using only pristine media, Imation is in the storage media business: both companies are doing business.

But both are also making sound recommendations about storage media re-use, recycling and disposal.

The most dramatic reminder of the persistence of data is also the saddest: a hard disk recovered from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster yielded readable information.

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In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
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