When I speak with business owners about the dangers of data breaches within the office, I often have to point out the issue of copy machines. Copiers can record thousands of documents on the internal hard drive. As mentioned in the article below it is very simple to capture the contents of the drive on a laptop in just a couple of minutes. This also applies to the copy machines in office supply businesses and copy shops. As most private businesses lease their copiers it is incumbent on the rental company to erase hard drives before removing the machine from the client's office. They need to be reformatted to insure the data is erased.
"When you protect the information on others you are protecting them, when someone else does it they are protecting you."
Copy Machines Pose Privacy Risks
Boston's WBZ-TV reports on a privacy threat looming in homes and offices: copy machines. Security expert John Juntunen demonstrated how easily accessible a copy machine's stored data can be, connecting his laptop to a copier and downloading a child support document and one woman's IRA application containing her address, Social Security number and date of birth. Another hard drive produced contact information for Caroline Kennedy. Though companies are supposed to wipe used hard drives clean before selling a machine, that isn't always executed, the report states. "I think it's an issue that's going to have major ramifications," says security expert Sean O'Leary.