Posts Tagged ‘data storage’

Four Tips to Protect your Data

Data breaches from cyber attacks are all over the news today. Although these types of security breaches are becoming more common, and more devastating, to the organizations and people involved, there is another kind of breach that is just as alarming.

Often times, informal transportation or improper storage of end-of-life electronics are the culprit. In untrained hands, sensitive information can be leaked, stolen or lost on the way to recycling centers or can be forgotten in dusty storage areas.

Consumers and businesses alike should be aware that electronic waste that is not disposed of properly poses a threat to sensitive data left on the devices. Finding a responsible electronics recycler will eliminate the risk of data breaches and grant the much-needed peace of mind that companies and individuals need.

Implementing a positive plan to combat electronic waste data breaches is the only realistic way to ensure that sensitive information remains safeguarded for end-of-life electronics.

Here are four tips to protect the valuable data contained on devices within your home, organization or business:

1. Get the best third party data destruction provider available

Laws and regulations ban dumping e-Waste into landfills and require specific methods for collection and disposal based on government guidelines.

When electronics devices reach end-of-life or are no longer wanted, relying on disposal plans managed by employees and staff for data destruction and e-Waste disposal is not effective, and leaves companies open to liability for breaches.

Instead, rely on a responsible R2/RIOS certified company with secure measures in place to handle the proper recycling of e-Waste and secure destruction of the information on hard drives and other data devices.

2. Avoid long-term storage of end-of-life devices

Long-term storage can increase the risk of loss or theft, which leads to serious data breaches. In fact, many data breach cases are the result of computers left to sit in off-site storage facilities with little or no regulation or supervision of the information contained on hard drives and storage devices.

Rather than choosing to place end-of-life devices in storage, creating an electronic waste disposal plan is the better choice. The plan should ensure that storage time is minimal or completely eliminated, thereby decreasing the risk of theft, loss or inadvertent exposure of sensitive information.

3. Know the laws on data destruction

Here in the U.S., most states with electronic recycling laws also require vendors to follow government regulations to ensure that consumer information remains safe. It is important to be aware of which guidelines apply to your organization and to organize an electronic waste disposal plan around them.

4) The best tip of all is too choose a responsible, certified electronics recycler who provides secure data destruction. This is the most effective way to ensure proper management and secure destruction of sensitive information contained on the hard drives of electronic drives.

News: California DMV hit with possible data breach

March has been tough as far as stolen data goes.  Most recently, the California DMV announced customer infomration may have been  compromised after MasterCard sent several banks a notice saying that credit card numbers, expiration dates, and three-digit verification codes were compromised.

That full initial story can be found here at Krebs on Security.  Here’s an excerpt.

If indeed the California DMV has suffered a breach of their online payments system, it’s unclear how many card numbers may have been stolen. But the experience of one institution that received the MasterCard alert this week may offer some perspective.

The alert was tailored for individual banks, including a list of the credit and debit card numbers that each bank had potentially exposed. One California bank that received the alert said the notice included a list of more than 1,000 cards that the bank had issued to customers. To put that in perspective, this same bank had just over 3,000 cards impacted by the breach at Target late last year, and that was a break-in that ultimately jeopardized more than 40 million card numbers at banks nationwide.

A few weeks ago A data breach in the North Dakota University System was announced. School officials said the intrusion could impact hundreds of thousands of people. Check out the official statement from the school here. 

On February 7, the NDUS discovered suspicious activity on a server. Unfortunately, the impacted server housed personal information, such as names and Social Security numbers, for more than 290,000 current and former students and about 780 faculty and staff. The server was immediately locked down. The internal investigation, as well as an external forensic team, found no evidence that any personal information was accessed, copied, transmitted or printed. However, NDUS is offering identity protection services to those whose information was housed on the server as an extra precaution.

The university system says it will begin notifying those who could have been impacted and provide information on its website about free credit monitoring to those who were affected.

An interesting side note, Brian Krebs, who broke the Target story and who wrote about the California DMV breach will be the subject of a new movies.  Via the Star Tribune. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. confirmed Friday that it is working on a movie based on the security blogger who exposed TargetCorp.’s monster data security breach.

No production date has been set, a Sony spokeswoman said, but the cyberthriller will be penned by Richard Wenk, a writer and director whose credits include “The Expendables 2” and “The Mechanic.” He also wrote “The Equalizer,” a not-yet-released movie that has Denzel Washington playing a former black ops commando.

Also, a bit about Krebs from the Tribune article. Unreal.

The blogger, Brian Krebs, is an independent investigative reporter who digs into the dark Web world of hackers, malware, stolen data and cybercriminals, many from Eastern Europe. The former Washington Post reporter says he keeps a 12-gauge shotgun handy because he has been threatened so often. He was once shipped a parcel containing fecal matter.

Back to the matter at hand. Data safety. If you need your data securely destroyed you know who you can count on. Please check out our comprehensive website to select the one or all of the many data destruction and electronic recycling services we supply.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

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03 2014

News: Target, Neiman Marcus Face Data Breaches

The news keeps getting worse for Target while the scope of holiday data breaches expands. Last week it was revealed that the Target data breach has expanded from 40 million to 70 million accounts that were compromised. Retailer giant Nieman Marcus also confirmed that they had also been the victims of hackers.

There’s a great story about that and the possibility of more retailers may have been hacked over at the Christian Science Monitor. Reuters reported Sunday that at least three other well-known US retailers faced data breaches during the holidays, citing information from unnamed sources.

“The sources said that they involved retailers with outlets in malls, but declined to elaborate. They also said that while they suspect the perpetrators may be the same as those who launched the Target attack, they cannot be sure because they are still trying to find the culprits behind all of the security breaches,” the Reuters report reads. “Law enforcement sources have said they suspect the ring leaders are from Eastern Europe, which is where most big cybercrime cases have been hatched over the past decade.”

The report didn’t say whether the Neiman Marcus breach was related to the others.

The Target cyber break-in affected customers who shopped in-store and online between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, in the thick of the holiday season. Though Target initially said about 40 million shoppers were affected, the retailer revealed last week that the hackers stole between 70 million and 110 million shoppers’ credit card numbers, PIN numbers, e-mail and mailing addresses, and phone numbers. Target also came under fire for waiting four days to disclose the breach publicly.

As a result of the hacks Target stands to take a big hit: as much as $50 million, according to CNN Money. The retailer also announced last week it would offer free credit monitoring and identity-theft protection for worried customers.

The biggest risk, experts say, is that potential scammers could have customers’ contact information and the knowledge that they shop at Target. But that on its own isn’t enough for identity theft. “It’s bad they got a customer list, but the worst case scenario is a very targeted email phishing campaign,” said Adrian Sanabria, a security analyst, told CNN Money. “I don’t see any risk of identity theft from having that exposed.”

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

 

14

01 2014

News: By 2020, there will be 5,200 GB of data for every person on Earth

In a recent post looking into the future of data storage, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted in the next eight years, the amount of digital data produced will exceed 40 zettabytes, which is the equivalent of 5,200 GB of data for every man, woman and child on Earth.

In a post over at ComputerWorld, author  breaks the numbers down a little further. To hit that enormous figure, all data is expected to double every two years through 2020.

The majority of data between now and 2020 will not be produced by humans but by machines as they talk to each other over data networks. That would include, for example, machine sensors and smart devices communicating with other devices.

So far, however, only a tiny fraction of the data being produced has been explored for its value through the use of data analytics. IDC estimates that by 2020, as much as 33% of all data will contain information that might be valuable if analyzed.

The Digital Universe study, which is sponsored by EMC, was first launched in 2005. For the first three years, it was refreshed on an annual basis. This latest update, however, marks an 18-month lag between study results — and a huge change in its predictions. For example, the last version, released in June 2011, predicted the amount of data to be produced by 2020 would be 35 zettabytes, not 40 zettabytes.

Mearian explains the boom in data will also have an effect on cloud computing.

According to IDC estimates by 2020, nearly 40% of the information in the digital universe will be “touched” by cloud computing, meaning that a byte will be stored or processed in a cloud somewhere in its journey from originator to disposal. Yet, only as much as about 15% of data will be maintained in a cloud, IDC said.

Additionally, emerging market nations will go from creating a minority of data to creating the majority, IDC said. In 2005, for example, 48% of the digital universe came from the United States and Western Europe. Emerging markets accounted for less than 20%. However, the share of data attributable to emerging markets is now 36% and will be 62% by 2020. By then, China alone will generate 21% of the bit streams entering the digital universe.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

14

01 2014

News: Million-Year Data Storage Disk Unveiled

Recently, MIT Technology Review reported that eroen de Vries at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and a few pals have designed and built a disk capable of storing data over an enormous timescale. According to their tests, the new technology should be able to store data for 1 million years and possibly longer.

From the MIT article: “despite this huge increase in storage density and a similarly impressive improvement in power efficiency, one thing hasn’t changed. The lifetime over which data can be stored on magnetic discs is still about a decade.”

Here’s some technical jargon from the post, describing how the team created the new disk.

The disk is simple in conception. The data is stored in the pattern of lines etched into a thin metal disc and then covered with a protective layer.

The metal in question is tungsten, which they chose because of its high melting temperature (3,422 degrees C) and low thermal expansion coefficient. The protective layer is silicon nitride (Si3N4) chosen because of its high resistance to fracture and its low thermal expansion coefficient.

These guys made their disc using standard patterning techniques and stored data in the form of QR codes with lines 100nm wide. They then heated the disks at various temperatures to see how the data fared.

The results are impressive. According to Arrhenius law, a disk capable of surviving a million years would have to survive 1 hour at 445 Kelvin, a test that the new disks passed with ease. Indeed, they survived temperatures up to 848 Kelvin, albeit with significant amounts of information loss.

You can check out the entire article via the link at the top of the page.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

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01 2014