Security Awareness Tip: Destruction of Sensitive Materials

    Date19 Jan 2004
    3079
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Hackers and industrial spies have long used "dumpster diving" as a method for gathering sensitive information. Sensitive materials must be thoroughly sanitized before being discarded. . . . Hackers and industrial spies have long used "dumpster diving" as a method for gathering sensitive information. Sensitive materials must be thoroughly sanitized before being discarded.

    PAPER
    Paper containing sensitive information must be shredded. Use high quality cross cut shredders to cut paper into fine/small pieces. Place shredders in common areas. Personal shredders should be purchased for employees that work daily with sensitive information.

    CD-ROMS
    CD-ROMs should be fed through a CD-ROM shredder. An alternative would be to snap CD-ROMs in half. The process of breaking a CD-ROM can send shards of plastic flying. The sharp edges of a broken CD-ROM can cut. A shredder is a better solution.

    MAGNETIC MEDIA
    Floppy disks and backup tapes should be opened and cut into small pieces. Hard drives should be over written 3 times with zeros and ones. Magnetic media containing extremely sensitive material should be sanitized with the magnetic field of a degaussing device. Degaussers can be expensive. As an alternative, disassemble each hard drive and sand the surface of its platters.


    Tip contributed by:
    Gideon T. Rasmussen
    CISSP, CFSO, CFSA, SCSA
    Boca Raton, FL
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Additional security awareness tips are freely available at: http://www.gideonrasmussen.com/sectips.

    Each tip is written with the average person as the intended audience; in support of a security awareness program.

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