A risk is quantified by evaluating the impact of an event against its occurrence. In today’s digital world, all organizations face IT risks irrespective of their size. IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) entails getting rid of unwanted or obsolete IT resources in an ecologically-responsible and safe manner. It’s an important part of risk management and should be incorporated into your company’s corporate data security strategy.
The 2018 Pokemon Report pegged the average global cost of a data breach at $3.86 million, which is a significant figure by all standards. When your organization’s IT resources approach the end of their life cycle, the possibility of data breaches and non-compliance with industry standards increases. Here’s how you can avoid risks that are inherent in the ITAD process.
Work with Certified Data Destruction Vendors
A single data breach resulting from an ineffective ITAD process can cost an organization millions of dollars in terms of fines, bad publicity, and legal fees. To minimize the risk of a data breach during the process, ensure that all sensitive data is removed from your organization’s IT resources before they’re destroyed. This can be achieved by working with data sanitization vendors who are accredited by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).
Have an Asset Inventory List
Thanks to technological advances, organizations use IT equipment that typically stores tons of data. An asset inventory helps you monitor how your equipment stores data and it will come in handy during the ITAD process since it will help you track the disposition of items more effectively. An updated inventory forms the backbone of your ITAD program by ensuring that all items get accounted for as you dispose of your IT resources.
Comply With Applicable Corporate and Regulatory Requirements
The ITAD process can turn out to be a risk for your organization if you fail to comply with applicable corporate and regulatory requirements. When undertaking global IT disposition, for instance, several considerations should be kept in mind. These include:
- ITAD regulations in countries that you operate in
- Laws about e-waste disposal
- Rules regarding the IT process, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
You should stay apprised of these regulations as you plan your ITAD process. An IT asset disposition vendor can provide guidance and support on maintaining compliance during the entirety of the program.
Assess your ITAD Risks
Generally, risk managers are encouraged to evaluate ITAD risks when planning an IT asset disposal program. This involves rethinking core ITAD management processes and practices to ensure that you can answer these questions:
- Will you be in a position to know if an ITAD risk leads to losses?
- What structures are in place to report losses?
- Do your employees have the ability to hide losses?
- Have employees been trained on pertinent aspects of the ITAD process?
- How would your ITAD program rank if it was subjected to direct examination?
By evaluating possible IT risks, the data security of your disposed IT equipment is guaranteed. Likewise, you get an extra sense of security, knowing that thanks to the program, IT resources that are no longer useful have been destroyed professionally.
Retired IT resources should be disposed of so that they do not become risk sources. Keep in mind that easily-discoverable information regarding your ITAD process can lead to costly exposures. Similarly, the ITAD process can turn out to be a liability if it is managed unprofessionally.
Integrating risk management into your ITAD program will go a long way in keeping your company’s data safe and secure. Therefore, always prioritize potential risks and relevant regulations as you create a plan for an upcoming ITAD process.