Most modern multifunction copiers have a hard drive, which often stores a copy of every document the machine scans, prints, copies, or faxes. If not properly wiped, the data on these drives can pose a significant security and privacy risk.
I wrote about the risk in 2007, and CBS News did a great investigative report in April. In my article about the CBS News investigation, I asked TechRepublic members the following questions:
- Does your organization have a policy that requires copier hard drives to be wiped before the machine is decommissioned?
- How does your organization wipe data from copier hard drives?
Before posting these polls, I assumed that the majority of respondents wouldn't be wiping data from their organization's copy machines. Still, the number of respondents who reported that their organization didn't have a policy on wiping data, or didn't know if such a policy existed surprised me.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.