Virtually every organization today deals with sensitive electronic information – from confidential human resources and business records to personal health information (PHI). Today’s high-tech all-in-one printers and copiers allow you to print, scan, fax and even email these documents with the click of a button. But what happens to that information as it passes through the machine? It ends up getting stored on the printer hard drive.
Chances are, you already know that electronic information lives on (forever) inside your copier. However, you may still wonder, “Is it secret? Is it safe?”
I am happy to report that it is actually rather difficult these days to steal information from your office equipment, mainly because specialized forensic software is required. However, you still should – and in many cases, you are required – to protect and erase theft-worthy data.
There are two main ways: a data security overwrite kit and hard drive scrubbing.
If you are in the process of buying or leasing a new multi-function printer, then the overwrite kit is a perfect option. It will scrub the binary code of every document and replace it with zeroes. It will be like the information never existed.
However, once you have started using a printer that does not have an overwrite kit, you can not install the program later, thinking it will erase all the old files. And you can not simply delete files yourself and assume they are gone forever. They are not. In this case, you must move on to hard drive sanitization, which is usually done when you are ready to get rid of a piece of equipment.
You can purchase your own software and perform the sanitization yourself. Of course, a sledgehammer is always an option. Unfortunately, if you want to resell your equipment, trade up for a newer printer or finish your lease on good terms, that is not a good solution. Hopefully, your office equipment dealer handles hard drive scrubbing. If not, you probably can find other reputable services.
The most important thing to remember: get certified! Make sure the company that erases your hard drive also gives you a certificate of sanitization.
At Visual Edge IT Ohio, we offer quality hard drive sanitization services for any organization in Canton, Akron, Youngstown and Western Pennsylvania. For more information, contact us.
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