Copier Machine Threat – Hard Drive Scare / Encryption

May
25
2010

I came across this little piece of reporting by CBS news.

I have to admit.. I was totally caught off guard by this one.

Seems “gobsmackingly obvious” now that I think about it. But I never did.

This is a report on how all the major brands of copiers STORE the images on local hard drives. Making it SUPER EASY for the bad guys to get your (recycled) copiers and get your important corporate data. Watch this, then, please, figure out who to contact in your company and decide HOW your copy machines are recycled.

https://moskowitzinc.infusionsoft.com/link/3043060c20/b28720

What else can you do? Well, from a Group Policy perspective, on our Windows PCs (and not copy machines) here are three ideas:

Idea 1:
Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates … | System | File System | Enable NTFS pagefile encryption

Idea 2:
“Clear Page File at Shutdown”…
Check out http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314834
(not a group policy setting, but can be delivered as a registry preference.)
PS: This one likely wouldn’t beat the forensics apps, but it’s better than nothing.

Idea 3:
You could of course, go “Full disk encryption” like BitLocker or TrueCrypt.. that would do the trick as well.

So, that’s three things to at least CONSIDER in thoughts around this problem for high security machines that COULD be recycled.  True.. I’ve seen companies that literally “shred” the drives in a big “drive cruncher machine”.. but, that seems extreme considering there are software solutions to this very problem.

Note, of course, that enabling these items could slow down your system (especially that second one at shutdown time.) But it might be worth it depending on the situation. For what it’s worth, I’m using BitLocker on one machine, TrueCrypt on another and notice no appreciable slowdown.

Speaking of security, and “doing all you can” to thwart the bad guys… I’m doing my weekly PolicyPak demonstration tomorrow at 2.00 PM Eastern. If you want “extra thumbscrews” to ensure that your security is maintained at all times, then join me for this free informative talk.

Here’s the link:
www.policypak.com/demo

Thanks.

PS: And my pants are already back on, thank you very much.

Jeremy Moskowitz
GPanswers.com (Group Policy Community)
PolicyPak.com    (PolicyPak Software)