Just a few decades ago, IT asset disposition (ITAD) wasn’t on the average business's radar. But today, advances in technology have put the issue front and center. The vast majority of companies now rely on some form of computer technology, from cell phones, to POS systems, all the way up to complex databases.
Although proper planning can allow you to continue using the same equipment for years, eventually an upgrade to more advanced hardware is necessary if you want to stay competitive and serve the needs of your clients and your business operation. This means disposing of old assets, and if you fail to do so properly, you could end up in hot water.
This is especially true for companies in the financial services sector, where confidential client information must be tightly guarded to keep up with a slew of consumer privacy laws. How can your company prepare for secure IT asset disposition to properly protect client information?
1. Know the rules. When it comes to consumer privacy protection, you may find yourself beholden to federal, state, and local laws, as well as industry-specific regulations. For example, those working in medical fields must adhere to HIPAA regulations that don’t necessarily affect other industries. Those in the financial services sector, on the other hand, may have to comply with rules and regulations like the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) to protect against identity theft.
The laws governing consumer privacy have stipulations regarding data destruction, including the disposition of assets containing sensitive consumer data. You must understand these rules and comply with them (or even exceed standards) in order to protect consumers and avoid penalties. You will find it’s easiest to partner with a certified ITAD service provider that is trained to comply on your behalf.
2. Understand your options. When it comes to IT asset disposition, such as destroying hard drives, you have two options. The first is outright destruction, whereby hard drives are physically shredded to ensure there is no possible way to recover data. The other is to have hard drives thoroughly wiped, refurbished, and prepared for resale to help you recoup some cost. With the help of a certified ITAD service provider, either of these options will protect your data.
3. Plan for a smooth data migration. Any time you’re thinking of upgrading to new equipment, you’ll need to move data from the old system to the new one. This could throw a wrench in your operations without proper planning. Determine how and when you’re going to transfer data and have a backup plan in place if things go wrong, including a complete data backup for restoration, as well as disaster recovery.
4. Partner with a trusted ITAD service provider. There’s no need to go it alone when it comes to ITAD preparation. With the help of a trusted and reliable service provider like SEAM, your Sioux Falls area financial services business has the best chance to comply with applicable regulations, protect consumer data, and meet environmental standards for e-waste disposal. Contact SEAM today at 605-274-SEAM (7326) to learn how they can help.