Feeds

UK PC disposal is rubbish

PCs on council tips and other security no-nos

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Large UK businesses are crap at securely disposing old PCs and mobile devices.

A survey by mobile security firm Pointsec found that less than half the 329 corporations quizzed use professional disposal companies to destroy their old computers. The rest flog PCs to secondhand dealers or sell them to staff, which often means that the next recipient has access to all the old data. Seventeen per cent destroy data in-house, arguably the safest approach.

Lack of time and resources was frequently cited in the survey as the reason why firms frequently neglect to bother about the secure disposal of corporate devices. Mobile security fails to feature withing the security policy of many firms.

Martin Allen, managing director of Pointsec, commented: "We've all heard about PCs thrown away in UK council tips that have ended up in West Africa with local extortionists and opportunists selling the contents such as bank account details for less than £20. Many corporations can also fall victim to this sort of scam by selling their old PCs to second hand dealers who often don’t have the skills or resources to reformat and clean them adequately. We recommend thoroughly reformatting the hard-drive or encrypting the data on all mobile devices."

"If you have really sensitive data on your device and you really don't trust any sort of software then your best bet is to burn or smash the hard-drive," he added.

One in three companies now have over 50 per cent of their staff who use a mobile device for work, 60 per cent of these devices are not protected by encryption. Doubtless Pointsec is looking to plug the gap left by this omission.

When asked why encryption was not more common-place, many respondents to the survey said their mobiles didn't contain sensitive data, so the technology wasn't needed. However, When quizzed further respondents admitted they stored important data on their mobiles such as their names and addresses of customers, marketing plans and other corporate information. Such data might be very useful to an opportunist thief or hacker, Pointsec warns. A minority of people stored passwords (8 per cent) and bank account details (six per cent) on their mobiles. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.