248 000 hours' work to back-up redundant City computers

Computers made redundant by financial sector job losses will expose their owners to litigation and compliance risks, a computer forensics and courtroom specialist is warning.

With each device requiring anywhere between two and six hours of work to remove contents, the financial sector alone could collectively require a quarter of a million – 248,000 – human hours to complete the task, Kroll Ontrack claims.

With the Centre for Economics and Business Research last October predicting 62,000 job losses in the UK’s financial sector alone by the end of 2009, computer forensics specialists are advising that companies may not have the necessary resources to adequately extract data from current computer asset base.

“While most companies are not legally required to back-up data on computers and other hardware devices that are no longer in use, these companies leave themselves open to data loss and theft of intellectual property by not doing so,” says Kroll Ontrack managing director Martin Carey. “They may also find themselves unable to meet obligations for data disclosure that could disadvantage them in future litigation.”

Though redundancies have been most rife in the financial sector, the issue of the legal preservation of data is one that could affect companies in other sectors that are highly regulated, Carey adds.

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