Everything is getting smarter, which is great! Smartphones, cars, industrial sensors, smart PDUs, HVAC systems, household appliances, medical equipment, and much more are now connected to the internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, enabling intercommunication between our devices to make our lives easier. This is the Internet of EVERYTHING which we hear about on a daily basis! However, it also puts organizations and their clients potentially at risk.
This constant interconnectedness also means that data from all these devices is constantly being collected, stored, and monitored, which is where the danger lies. If an organization does not properly manage, protect, and destroy this data when they decommission these devices, there is a huge opportunity for unauthorized access to the organization and clients’ sensitive information.
There is a general lack of awareness and understanding around what comprises embedded data, where it resides, and the threat (financially and reputationally) that it poses for companies. Embedded data is contained in some type of media buried within a system, usually not on a hard drive, and overlooked when it comes to finding and destroying data during the decommissioning process. Embedded data is in hard drives, memory, tape, CD/DVD, flash memory, battery backed cache, and more, though you may not be aware of its existence! Embedded data may also be a component of embedded intelligence devices, such as embedded microprocessors and computers. We need to think outside the hard drive for places where embedded data may be found, but do not overlook the hard drive either.
Overlooking embedded data when assessing a security risk posed by a particular device is easy! This means that every device used by your employees, including servers, computers, smartphones, tablets, etc., may have sensitive information stored on them in places you’re not looking. These devices pose a security risk to both your company and your customers if you do not decommission and dispose of the devices and their associated embedded data properly.
To learn more about the threat that embedded data can pose to your company, please download our white paper: Embedded Data: Your “Hidden Secret” to Stopping a Major Data Breach — A call for awareness to the security threat of embedded data. It aims to educate customers and the public at large about the potential exposure and hidden dangers posed by embedded media.