Avoiding security complications when servicing desktop equpment

Any computer within a company is full of confidential information. And corporate desktop computers are quite resilient and long living. But at the end, any electronic device can fail.

But contrary to the rules that everyone repeats about laptops, desktop computers do not have encrypted disk drives.

Unlike industrial electronic repair, in which the repairs are performed on-site, desktop computers are treated as consumer electronics and are repaired at the vendors premises. So, if proper controls are not present, an IT technician may pick up the computer with the functional hard drive full of information and send it off to an external vendor - thus creating a security incident

To prevent this, a simple process should be put in place:

  1. When performing electronic repairs on IT equipment, first try to fix system with replacement parts - internal IT can replace RAM memory, Hard Drive and PSU.
  2. If the motherboard or elements on the motherboard are an issue, remove the Hard Drive prior to delivering the computer to the vendor.
  3. If the computer is fully failed, remove the hard drive for data transfer or controlled data destruction
  4. Even if the hard drive is fully failed, remove it for mechanical or magnetic destruction.

This very simple process will prevent possible security incidents


Talkback and comments are most welcome

Related posts
Windows 7 Full Disk Encryption with Truecrypt
Brief reminder - The value of a stolen corporate laptop

19 comments:

Arrowhead Ranch homes said...

Thats the good thing about desktop computers --- hard drives can be taken out for safe keeping.. I've never done this one though -- removing the hard drive before the computer is sent for repair at a vendors premise. Very basic move but one that can ultimately save the company's files being viewed or sent to outsiders.

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my experience:
simply remove the hdd when moving the pc out of the company premises.

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