Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

6/19/2009
04:52 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Decommissioned Storage Justifies Encryption

There are many reasons to justify storage encryption; tapes falling off the back of a truck on the way to a vault for disaster recovery purposes is one, but when it comes to disk encryption not many have made the effort to encrypt disk based data. While that disk array is in your environment it should be relatively secure, except from internal threats, but what about when you decommission a storage array?

There are many reasons to justify storage encryption; tapes falling off the back of a truck on the way to a vault for disaster recovery purposes is one, but when it comes to disk encryption not many have made the effort to encrypt disk based data. While that disk array is in your environment it should be relatively secure, except from internal threats, but what about when you decommission a storage array?Storage arrays get old and the time comes to replace them. Typically companies either throw them out or put them for sale on various online auction sites, but what do they do about the data on those drives? I'm sure at a minimum most organizations format them over, assuming it is safe; in our findings that is also the typical maximum that customers go to to wipe clean their array. Its true that a few companies physically destroy the drives in the array and a few more encrypt data on the drives but that population is in the small minority.

Let's be clear, formatting does not wipe clean the array and there are a lot of smart bad guys out their that want to see your data and a decommissioned array is a higher target than a tape lying in the street. That tape for example has to be found by an IT person who also has the knowledge to not only find a tape drive that can be read but also determine what backup format it was written in.

Disks that are decommissioned, especially those re-sold online, are a hacker's dream come true. They can be found in one place and its way easier to get at the data on those than being lucky enough to find a box of tapes on the street. This morning there were 176 drive arrays available for sale on one online site. With a small investment, the hacker could go treasure hunting. If they can access the system and the data contents on it, that data could be resold or more likely used to blackmail the parent organization.

Universal encryption of data written to disk can now be done with little or no performance impact and the cost for these systems are becoming very affordable. Once data is encrypted, the keys can be deleted or removed for a decommissioned array and the data on that system rendered useless.

While encryption of storage has many other values beyond just decommissioned arrays, this one example in and of itself may justify the purchase of an encrypted environment.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss.

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7029
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability was discovered in the System Management Interface Web component of Avaya Aura Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Messaging. This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated remote attacker to perform Web administration actions with the privileged ...
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
CVE-2020-16170
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.