Improper Storage, Disposal Of IT Devices Cause Data Leakage, Cyber Fraud – Says Expert

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Improper storage and  disposal of Information Technology (IT) devices can lead to data leakage and cyber fraud, an IT professional, Mr Ifeanyi Ochonogor, has said.

“Emphasis has been on internet security, but we neglect a vital loose end in information technology security; that is, how we store and dispose of IT devices that contain sensitive data, Ochonogor said in Lagos on Wednesday.

Ochonogor, the Chief Executive Officer of E-ttera Technologies, spoke at the 52nd Annual Conference of the Science Association of Nigeria (SAN).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day conference, which began on Monday, had the theme: “Science and Technology in an Emerging Smart City and Sustainable Development”.

Ochonogor said that it was vital to properly store and dispose of IT devices to safeguard data.

According to him, most IT devices have storage media components that contain confidential information.

“These devices must be properly erased for re-use and permanently destroyed, if unwanted, to prevent confidential information leakage.

” Data leakage can lead to serious financial, intellectual property and security breach.

“Unfortunately, most businesses and government institutions in Nigeria maintain a high volume of these obsolete and unwanted electronic devices with unsecure storage component.

“Hence, they are vulnerable to data breach,’’ he said.

The professional said that global tracking of cyber attacks indicated that Nigeria was among countries with highest cases of software piracy, identity and intellectual property theft and malware attacks.

The expert said that cyber criminals had moved from the traditional “419” attacks to targeting business and government institutions.

He blamed the trend on improper disposing of IT devices, as most of the devices were disposed of through auction.

“Disposal of IT assets by businesses and governments is mostly through auction, with little interest in material handling and recycling ability of bidders unlike in developed countries, where such decommissioned IT assets are strictly managed by e-waste recycling companies to ensure they do not harm.

According to him, a major way to address improper disposal of e-waste is to engage in community detoxification and sensitisation.

Ochonogor said that E-terra adopted the measure and it   had yielded positive results.

He said that the  method had helped to reduce vulnerability from old, obsolete and decommissioned IT equipment and prevent confidential data breach.

NAN reports that E-terra Technologies, an e-waste company, partnered with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative to protect the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents. (NAN)

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