Data breach digitally represented

Study warns of dangers of not fully wiping USB drives

A study of 100 USB drives purchase by Abertay University found over 75,000 files were still intact from supposedly empty drives.

The study, designed to show the importance of fully wiping storage devices when discarding or selling them.

On the drives, there were multiple instances of passwords being stored, as well as banking details.

Strangely, all but 2 of the drives appeared empty at first glance, but the University said that using publicly accessible programmes, it was worryingly easy to retrieve the data.

Although some of the drives had been wiped properly, 42 of the drives had all of their contents recovered, with 26 of them having the files partially recovered.

Prof Karen Renaud, from Abertay University’s division of cybersecurity, urged people to use software designed to fully wipe drives instead of just deleting or formatting it, especially when selling to an unknown buyer.

She said: "An unscrupulous buyer could feasibly use recovered files to access sellers' accounts if the passwords are still valid, or even try the passwords on the person's other accounts given that password re-use is so widespread."

Cost of living crisis

PSE Jan/Dec 22

Cost of living crisis

Our December/January 2022 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from levelling up to decarbonisation and the funding crisis. Learn how we can protect our public services, or read Cllr David Renard's discussion on how Local and central government are working together to support local needs, alongside so much more…

Videos...

View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Levelling up

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public SectorLevelling up Virtual Event | 17 Nov 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Upcoming Webinar

Webinar: Driving sustainability & value through technology end-of-life

End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?
 

Join us on 13 September between 2:00pm-2:45pm where we look to address the lifecycle of a digital strategy with a focus on end-of-life using examples, achieving efficiency, increased sustainability and delivering cost savings.


Guest Panellists:

Adam Turner, Head of Government and Public Sector Sustainable ICT and Digital, DEFRA
Ben Levin, Senior Manager, Technology Assesment and Criteria Development, Global Electronics Council
Fredrik Forslund, Vice President, Enterprise & Cloud Erasure Solutions, Blancco
Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

More articles...

View all