A 2022 KPMG survey found that 62% of companies in the Americas experienced a data breach or cyber incident in 2021. The same percentage indicated that they experienced an economic loss due to that crime. Data theft is an increasing threat and a major concern for companies around the globe. October is national Cybersecurity month and to help raise awareness, let’s look at three cybersecurity mistakes your company can’t afford to make.
When you think about cybersecurity, the first thing that comes to mind is typically firewalls and IT departments constantly monitoring online threats. These are indeed crucial, but as we move through Cybersecurity month, let’s shine the spotlight on an aspect of cybersecurity that often gets overlooked: the proper disposal of your data and your aging equipment. Specifically, here are three mistakes that your company cannot afford to make when it comes to IT equipment disposal.
- Deleting Computer Files Is Not Enough
It is one of the beauties of the digital age. If you’re done with a file, you can just delete it and it’s gone forever, right? Far too often, employees and even companies have this mindset, not realizing that that critical data can be retrieved from your hard drive even if the file has been deleted. The $35 million dollar fine Morgan Stanley just received for improper data disposal shows that even the biggest companies can fall into this trap.For your data to be properly disposed of, your drives need to be properly sanitized by software that overwrites stored information, making it unrecoverable. To ensure absolute security, your device should then be physically destroyed by crushing or shredding.
Far too many companies dispose of their IT equipment by throwing it away. Sadly, even some less-than-reputable third-party disposal companies do the same, sending the devices to a landfill to save the expense of proper disposal.There are multiple problems with this means of getting rid of your equipment. First, IT hardware contains heavy metals, lead, mercury, and other hazardous chemicals that can leach into the ground water and cause significant environmental damage. Just as significantly, the broken chain of possession leads to easy opportunities for cybercriminals to obtain your old equipment and pull employee records, data files, and other sensitive information from your hard drives.
- Not Knowing the Process
Today, there are literally thousands of companies that offer IT disposal services. When you are choosing yours, it is vital to understand their IT disposal process. As we have seen, some simply send devices to a landfill or send your devices oversees for refurbishment. Obviously this opens up a massive cybersecurity threat.Therefore, only work with IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) providers who can detail for you the exact process they use to wipe your data and destroy sensitive components. They should give you a complete guarantee of full data erasure and their process for equipment disposal.
At Enlivened Tech, we can help you develop a strategy for managing the entire lifecycle of your IT equipment. Our ITAD services are a critical part of this process. If you would like to learn more about ITAD services for your company, contact us, or give us a call at (513) 617-4822. We will give you a free evaluation of your IT systems and help you map out the ITAD process for your company.