Confidential data is being produced at rapid levels. Photos, videos , email and social media sites are just some examples of this data. Technological advancements have made it easier to store, access and transfer vast amounts of information and the amount of data that is created each day presents tremendous opportunities for businesses to perform analysis and use the information to grow their business. This amount of data provides endless opportunities but also presents dangerous opportunities for data thieves.
This means the need for data security to be protected from first collection point until the time it is destroyed has never been more critical for organizations.
So …Where Does Data Hide?
The actions of hackers and negligent employees were accountable for almost one thousand data breach incidents across the globe in the first half of 2017 alone. On occasion, computers and other electronic devices that are marked for disposal fall outside IT equipment security procedures. And as they most likely still contain easily accessible data, this can leave a company vulnerable to a data breach. This data exists not only in computer and obsolete or redundant equipment but extends across a wide variety of devices including copiers, printers and scanners.
Since printers are often networked, anything scanned or printed is stored on the device until it is overwritten. These printers are often not encrypted and can be an easy target for hackers, not only when in use but also upon disposal.
Computer & Server hard drives
For corporate data security experts, protecting data on these devices is a foundation of their data security policies. Most people are aware of the significant data security risks posed by failing to understand the need to destroy the data on these devices.
Solid-state drive equipped devices
Recently, desktop and computer manufacturers have taken advantage of the benefits of solid state drives in order to make devices faster, lighter and more reliable. These drives are more durable and also store more data. They require special processing to ensure that all data has been removed. For example, an absence of magnetic components makes these drives resistant to degaussing. Also, some hard drive wiping techniques may give the appearance of complete data erasure during verification but recoverable data may remain due to unique recording, storage and organizational characteristics of this technology.
Smart Phones & Tablets
As the consumerization of business IT continues to gain momentum, the growing number of employees who are allowed to use their own mobile devices to connect to corporate networks, email accounts or file sharing applications can put confidential data at risk.
Whether company or employee owned mobile devices have computing power and data storage capacity that rival some desktop or laptop machines, their size particularly however makes them more vulnerable to loss and theft. This substantially increases the data security risk posed by mobile technology.
Unlike computers and servers whose contents are subject to strict security protocols, some retired equipment fall outside the scope of these policies, again, setting up the possibility of a data breach.
But you should also keep in mind that many smartphones and tablets are equipped with solid technology making them subject to the same data erasure challenges as other devices using this technology to record, store and access data.
E-Waste Facts & Stats
If you want to make sure your data is secure and your old IT equipment is disposed responsibly, then the decision should be pretty obvious. Contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, visit our contact us page.