Companies doing a poor job of wiping data from discarded computers

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Most organizations discard their old computers. Few – very few – have good controls in place to ensure that data is wiped from hard disks prior to discarding old systems.

Even Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the most top-secret institutions in the world, can’t get it right. So what does that say for the rest of us? It says that most of us are doing a poor job.

Some ideas:

1. Put large, visible stickers on computers and hard drives that state “Destruction Required Before Discarding”.

2. Establish processes that require that all surplussed systems go through a central location, which will perform the necessary wiping.

3. Establish organizational policy stating these facts, and tie the adherence of policy to disciplinary action procedures.

4. Reward people and groups who do it right.

Go to this blog entry to learn about a good tool used to wipe computer hard drives.

Read an article here about Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s failure to do this:

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