Avoid Security Issues When Servicing Desktop Equipment

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bozidar Spirovski

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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.

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:

  • 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.
  • If the motherboard or elements on the motherboard are an issue, remove the Hard Drive prior to delivering the computer to the vendor.
  • If the computer is fully failed, remove the hard drive for data transfer or controlled data destruction.
  • Even if the hard drive is fully failed, remove it for mechanical or magnetic destruction.

This very simple process will prevent possible security incidents.

Cross-posted from ShortInfosec

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