Not only is it important to take data security seriously for the sake of compliance with the GDPR, it’s also important for the sake of protecting your business from potential hacks and cyber attacks. There are many ways in which you can ensure data security, from secure passwords to data encryption. However, the importance of IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) to data security is often overlooked. In this article we take a look at the importance of ITAD to data security.
Of course, professional ITAD services cost money, which means it can be tempting to leave your redundant IT equipment sitting in storage to be disposed of ‘at a later date’. You may even think you’re doing a good deed by donating your old devices to a local charity. In reality, either of these options can pose extreme risks to the security of your business data and put you at huge risk of a data leak.
While the actual functionality of these devices might not be up to speed for your current business use, the data stored on their hard drives has much greater longevity-even when you’ve dragged it all into ‘trash’. This means that, unless you have an efficient data erasure protocol, devices as unsuspecting as printers can be the source of a data breach if the wrong hands recover your data at a later date. But what kind of problems could you run into?
● Non-compliance issues
The GDPR came into play in May 2018 and saw companies subject to much stricter rules regarding the protection of business data. Data breaches and failure to comply with GDPR guidelines could result in a severe loss of reputation, as well as fines of up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of annual global income, whichever is greatest. However, there are also regulations, such as the WEEE Directive, that outline the acceptable ways in which data can be disposed of. It’s important to dispose of redundant IT equipment in a way that’s compliant with all regulation, no matter how minor it may seem.
● Legal issues
Poor data security puts your clients’ and employees’ personal information at risk and, should it fall into the wrong hands, could put them at risk of identity theft and fraud. The liability for these problems would lie with your business, which would lead to ongoing legal problems.
Data breaches can cause real disruption to your business operations, be that through giving away business secrets or hackers preventing access to your business data. Of course, this disruption can also have financial implications for your business, which is a further inconvenience and can actually be detrimental to the future of your company.
Whether improper ITAD and poor data security means you’ve failed to comply with the GDPR, or that hackers have got hold of sensitive business information so you can function properly, this will have an impact on your business reputation. Clients are less likely to work with a business that doesn’t take its data protection responsibilities seriously.
So what approach to ITAD would tighten data security?
Performing regular IT audits will increase awareness of exactly the type of IT equipment within your company, which helps to ensure that everything is accounted for. Every piece of equipment should be included in this audit, from the most complex of computer systems to the smallest of USB drives. This heightened awareness of assets and their use can help you take a more responsible and comprehensive approach to ITAD, tightening your data security.
Find an ITAD partner
In order to ensure the most secure IT asset disposal, you should partner with an accredited and certified ITAD partner that can provide you with a guaranteed data destruction service and provide you with the necessary documentation to prove the safe handling of your data and IT assets. Not all ITAD vendors are equal, however, and its important that you choose the right partner for your company’s specific ITAD requirements.
With over 25 years industry experience, tier1 are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibility and legally.
Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.