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Preventing Data Breaches in IT Asset Disposal

The average computer has a lifespan of between three and five years. Many business owners keep their equipment much longer. though, even though it starts slowing down after this point.

If one thing is clear, it’s that you’ll need to dispose of your IT assets at some point. When you decide to decommission an IT asset, preventing data breaches is a top concern.

These best practices can help you prevent data breaches and dispose of your IT assets securely.

Clear Policies Improve Data Breach Prevention

Preventing security breaches starts long before you decommission an IT asset. From the very start, you should have clear policies about how to handle data in your business.

These policies should answer questions like what data needs to be kept. They should also define who has clearance to handle data.

These policies will also outline how to handle different kinds of IT assets. Disposable media such as CDs and DVDs should have their data removed, and then be destroyed.

Find a Partner to Help in Preventing Data Breaches

Another best practice for data breach prevention is working with a trustworthy third party.

This partner should be an expert in secure recycling, disposal, and destruction. You should always ask about their recycling standards and their certification.

Use the Right Tools for Data Destruction

Did you know deleting the data on a drive or mobile phone doesn’t necessarily get rid of it? One study found up to 75 percent of devices had residual data on them.

Even if you attempt to wipe a drive, someone could still access sensitive data. If you’re wondering how to prevent a data breach, wiping the drive isn’t enough.

You or your partner must use the correct tools to remove data from your IT assets. This can include specialized software. You’ll also want compliance with data erasure standards like NIST800-88 or BS EN15713:2009.

Train Your Team

Whether you work with a vendor or destroy data yourself, your employees will be part of the process. You have to consider the role your team members play in preventing data breaches.

In fact, your employees may be the biggest security threat when it comes to sensitive data. A careless worker may not follow proper procedures, leading to a breach. A disgruntled employee might purposefully cause a leak or steal data.

How can you prevent these situations? Training is a key step. Once you have the right policies in place, make sure your team is aware of them. Show them how to handle and dispose of data.

You should also educate employees about the importance of data security. Finally, you should manage and track who has access to your sensitive data.

Get Peace of Mind when Disposing IT Assets

Preventing data breaches is important for any business, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. With the right partner, you can make sure your data is being protected even after an asset is no longer in use.

If you have IT assets to dispose of, get in touch with us today.

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