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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Data Protection: UK National Identity Card Databases Destroyed

You could do worse, much worse, than full disk encryption when it comes to keeping data on hard disk drives secure (password-protection comes to mind).  On the "better than encryption" stack, nothing beats destroying disks if you really, really, REALLY want to ensure that no one gets to the data (including yourself, the owner).

Which is why the UK's Home Office has shredded 500 hard drives and 100 backup tapes that were used in the now-scrapped National Identity Register (or at least, it should be the reason, with photo ops being the cherry on top).  According to networkworld.com, the Home Office was quoted as saying "the drives were 'magnetically wiped and shredded. They will soon be incinerated in an environmentally friendly waste-for-energy process.'"

A little overkill, it seems like: what's the use of wiping the data if the disks are going to be shredded and incinerated?

Just in Case It Doesn't Actually Happen

Actually, it's not overkill.  It might be in this particular instance, since it's a high-profile case: you can bet people are on hand to witness the drives' successful destruction.

When it comes to your average disk destruction event, though, what generally happens is this: you hand over your to-be-destroyed disks to some contractor; the contractor does the deed, then gives you a certificate of destruction; and everyone goes home happy.  Again, to emphasize the point, generally that's what happens.

What sometimes also happens (a pretty rare event) is that someone with the contracting firm misappropriates some of those hard drives and sells them on the used market.  That's a data breach that's outside one's control, no matter how you slice it.

So, what to do?  The answer is obvious: wipe the data before handing it over to the contractor.  Or, you can also send someone from your office to essentially witness the destruction from beginning to end (that's some well-spent minimum wage.  Yeah, I'm being sarcastic).

I should point out at this point that data security practices like destruction, while absolute in its security, are only applicable to a device's end-of-life stage: prior to that you're still susceptible to a data breach, so encryption software like AlertBoot is necessary.

And added benefit is that you could in theory (and, I have to say, in practice) just hand over the hard disk drives to the contractor without fear of repercussions in the future, no matter what may happen, ensuring something doesn't go awry at a critical point in data management.


Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/destroyed-hard-drives-kills-uk-national-id-ca

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.