|The Threat is Real!|
It's easy to dismiss the threat of identity theft posed by today's digital copiers. After all, if the threat were real, wouldn't it be splashed all over the headlines? If access to sensitive personal data was really that easy, wouldn't we have been warned about it just like we are about other vulnerable access points like computers, phishing and even the U.S. mail? You would think so, wouldn't you?
In a report on identity theft, commissioned by the Federal Trade Commission, over half (56%) of all identity theft victims reported that they did not know how their personal information was stolen. The other 44% was divided among eight categories without so much as a mention of digital copiers. At DCSI, we believe that the copier threat is hidden in the 56% of victims who "don't know how info was taken". We also know that this threat is just emerging and that, unless something is done, copiers could well become a major source of illegally obtained non-public information.
DCSI performs regular testing and our hypothesis has been confirmed over and over again. We randomly select machines from a copier wholesaler and then use proprietary forensic techniques to uncover the data written to their hard drives. In our testing, we have uncovered:
- Complete consumer home loan documentation packages
- Individual investment transmittals
- Copies of checks, driver's licenses and employment applications
- Business plans, feasibility studies and other sensitive corporate data
- Student pictures and information
- Internal reports, statistics, memos and emails
All of this from machines selected completely at random! Imagine what we would find if we targeted specific industries such as banking or medical services. This threat is very real!
Thousands of these machines leave businesses every month with the internal data intact. Some are resold domestically and many are placed into cargo containers and shipped overseas. There is no control over the resale of these machines. They are sold on the open market to anyone with the cash to buy them.
You must take the steps necessary to protect your company and your customers by making certain that all of the data contained in these machines is completely and permanently cleared before they leave your control. Call today and let DCSI help you assess your risk!