As the end of the quarter draws near, many companies are preparing for a corporate refresh of their IT equipment. For most, the process of keeping data secure and disposal of the company’s outdated assets can be a stressful, logistical nightmare.
Should you worry? Well, the threat of a data breach is a very real possibility during a corporate refresh. Far too often data breaches have exposed consumer, patient, and sensitive corporate information to cybercriminals and cost companies millions of dollars in fines and lawsuit settlements.
A prime example is Anthem, which made the news in February of 2015, after its customer database was breached, affecting as many as 80 million current and former customers. Stolen data included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and employment histories — everything identity thieves want to get their hands on.
So, as your company takes on the task of IT asset disposition (ITAD), how are you to be certain to track every piece of IT equipment so that none gets lost during this transition? You may also have concerns about the in-house IT department really being equipped to handle protecting, stripping, and securing all your corporate and customer data. Do they know all the latest details about federal regulations that govern how ITAD must be conducted?
If these concerns sound familiar and stress is beginning to build, it is time to secure a safer, guaranteed plan of action that will protect your data and your company from a breach, regulatory discrepancies, and potential fines.
Also note that it does not take criminal activity for a data breach to occur. It is easy for equipment to get lost or for proper disposal (or wiping of data) not to be completed. Even the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA), data that everyone would assume would be completely secure, was compromised when a hard drive was sent out for repair, could not be fixed, and was scrapped. But, it was disposed of without any proof it had been stripped of the data it contained. It held 76 million U.S. military veterans’ names, contact information, and their Social Security numbers, all of which were compromised.
So what is the risk for your company? Simply put, how your company manages disposal of its retired IT equipment (recycling, refurbishing for resale, or perhaps both) can carry a level of risk. You must consider if your ITAD program could allow sensitive data to be leaked. You must plan for keeping track of every device. If you are not certain of this security, your company may not be in full compliance with industry regulations and you have legitimate reasons to feel stressed about your company IT refresh.
Are You at Risk?
Here are a few facts to consider to determine if your ITAD plan leaves you vulnerable and at risk of a data breach or costly fines.
Risky Business: First, you must decide if you can really afford to go through this process alone. An article in Computer Weekly magazine, states that letting your internal IT department manage the responsibilities of ITAD in a corporate refresh may be extremely risky. Technology used today is constantly evolving, so a clean sweep is hard to achieve without the latest, and correct, data removal software. Does your IT department have the latest and best software to do this?
Meeting Regulations & Avoiding Fines: Your company is also responsible for providing fool-proof evidence that you are in compliance with all environmental and government regulations throughout the process, which requires extensive knowledge of those regulations and how to meet them. Data security is your top concern because regulatory standards place a very high importance on a company protecting sensitive information, and will hold organizations accountable (meaning they will inflict big fines) if it is found that your company failed to prevent a data breach or allowed any sensitive information to be leaked. This is often well beyond the expertise of most companies’ internal IT departments.
ITAD Solutions that Bring Peace of Mind and Security
Be Certain of Your Security: If it is time to secure a stress-free solution, partnering with a trusted IT asset disposition service provider is an option, where your company receives guaranteed security throughout the process. They can certify that the data has been destroyed by the correct data erasure software or physical destruction, eliminating your risk of a data breach. Then, with a clean sweep ensured, they can also devise a strategic plan to orchestrate and manage the resale of decommissioned IT assets, or for their safe destruction and disposal.
Get Maximum ROI: It is quite possible that your outdated IT assets still have remaining life and value within them. Secure the right ITAD provider, and they can also channel your assets through the correct markets, like eBay, Amazon, Rakuten, and other popular platforms, where you can be assured of maximizing ROI. Your partner can create a strategic plan tailored to your needs for data security and value recovery, uniquely designed to your specific business. With this plan, it is not only possible to boost your bottom line, but to experience substantial growth in the coming year.
The ITAD partner you select should become a highly trusted part of your team, offering a documented commitment to the safe and proper disposal of your IT assets at the end of their lifecycle, and a legal guarantee that your protection and security is a top priority and something you can place your trust in. This partnership should also include experienced resale management, which unlocks the value of surplus inventory through the correct online sales channels. By enlisting the right ITAD partner with a proven track record in these areas, your corporate refresh can be stress-free, secure, and may even bolster your bottom line.