IT has become a part of modern business and has crept its way into business life since the advent of early word processors. Gradually, as IT tech has become more and more innovative, businesses have become ever more reliant on its integration and usage. Modern business can be as profitable through increased efficiencies as it can from improved margins, and both adopting and utilising IT equipment in a strive towards increased efficiency has become a modern requirement.
Modern Business and its Reliance on IT
IT is not just about word processing and accountancy. IT has become such a key part of business infrastructure that any new business must investigate and adopt minimum levels of IT in order to even operate at a base level, let alone be efficient. Gone are the early days or workstations of word processors, now having been replaced by modern methods of working that include hot desks, cloud computing and a myriad of interconnected devices that replace the old paper storage systems.
Running alongside this is the communication IT infrastructure that business now relies on. Where once sales and production meetings were called in the boardroom, meetings are now often conducted remotely via chat and video software, contributing to efficiency and cost savings. Email is the de facto inter department communication method, usually replacing even a phone call.
One thing that all of the above has generated is a huge digital footprint and a digital storage consideration with potential security liabilities. Every time a digital communication is carried out, or actual ‘work’ in terms of planning, strategy, forecasting, accounting and development is undertaken, there becomes generated a storage of data issue that needs to be considered.
Managing the Digital Footprint
Every interaction on a digital device leaves a footprint. Most people realise this, but the very extent of the footprint is often overlooked. Inter-company emails for example will invariably be carried out using a secure mail server managed by the company. Competitor access to this may be like finding the crown jewels, along with hacked access that will invariably reveal highly sensitive client and product/service information. A worthy target for the unscrupulous. But take a minute to consider the very source and end recipient access points to all of these emails darting around company personnel and departments. The humble laptop, phone or tablet will contain tens of thousands of records of communications, files and data that can all too easily fall into the wrong hands.
Password protocols are an initial way to manage device access but in reality, many are not overly secure and a determined attempt, both physically and online via a broadband connection can yield results relatively quickly.
IT Disposal – End of Life Management
This management and access to sensitive data then brings up the critical question of end of life IT equipment management. The reconditioning and / or gifting of older IT equipment to charities and Third World users may have an altruistic feel to it, but the potential threats and liabilities offered by such routes can be incredibly risky.
Likewise, IT companies that offer bulk office collections of perceived end of life equipment from shared office facilities may well be offering a ‘data cleansing’ of your IT devices but, in reality once that phone or tablet has left your premises, so has any control that you may have had over the management of the data stored within.
It cannot be stressed enough just how easy it is to access data on IT equipment, even when the data is perceived to have been ‘erased’. Added to this security risk is the potential access to data storage devices via old IT equipment. Connecting to the company cloud storage for example, or the web server may still be possible from an employee’s old laptop, thus opening up a world of opportunities to the would-be hacker.
Entrusting the disposal of IT equipment to professionals has never been more important. Private company and staff data, company accounts, production processes and sales prospects are all highly lucrative targets to hackers. Managing both the data disposal as well as the access points is a complex skill that a simple hitting of a delete tab con not hope to replicate.
It is the responsibility of a modern business to maintain the security of key data as well as data access points. Businesses cannot be experts in all areas and have to outsource some key business support services. Data is a commodity that no modern business should risk being accessed and abused by 3rd parties.
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. tier1 remains focussed on enhancing resources, capabilities and compliance in line with evolving clients’ needs and changing legislative requirements.
Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help you reduce your company’s carbon footprint with ITAD.