Different Ways to Prevent Employee Theft of Your Retired IT Equipment

Jun 20, 2019

Information technology has become the heartbeat of the business world, allowing easy access to data and instant global communications. With the breakneck speeds at which technologies advance, businesses can find themselves in a never-ending cycle of upgrades, not to mention disposal of retired IT equipment.

The danger here is that outdated devices will get lost in the excitement of the upgrade. As you transition to the latest and greatest equipment, what will become of the old stuff? If you don’t have a plan in place for IT asset disposition, you could suffer internal threats like employee theft of retired equipment, and subsequent concerns like identity theft and data breach.

The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to ensure your Sioux Falls, SD company, your clients, and your confidential data is protected when you upgrade equipment. There are several common sense ways to prevent employee theft of unused devices.

Track Inventory
You can’t hope to protect your devices from theft if there’s no chain of custody to tell you who has them. The place to start is with an inventory tracking system, such as tracking by serial number or implementing a scannable bar code system. This way you can control check-out and return of devices and track them down as needed.

You should also implement policies for collection and storage of devices during upgrades or when employees leave the company to ensure nothing goes unaccounted for. Performing regular inventory audits is also wise.

Put Someone in Charge
Having a tracking system for IT inventory only works if a person or department is in charge of it. This duty could fall to a facilities manager or your IT staff for example, but the more people involved, the less secure your program will be. The buck has to stop somewhere, so carefully consider your options before assigning this crucial task.

Employee Training
It’s important that employees understand the rules associated with the IT equipment they are assigned for work purposes, as well as the consequences of failing to follow the rules. Your security policies and procedures should include proper tracking and the use of measures like encryption and strong password protection on devices. Employees should receive comprehensive training to ensure that they keep their devices secure while in their possession.

You also need to make them aware of the penalties for theft of data and/or devices. Theft of company property not only constitutes firing, but you should also make it clear that you’ll report any instances of theft to the authorities.

Immediate Disposal
One of the best ways to minimize the threat of internal theft when you retire devices is to dispose of them as quickly as possible. This is best accomplished by partnering with a certified ITAD service provider that offers locking bins for secure in-office collection of devices, then schedules regular pick-up and destruction services, including the option for on-site destruction while you watch.

If your Sioux Falls, South Dakota or North Dakota business is planning an upgrade and you want the best means of avoiding the potential for employee theft of old devices, contact SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to discuss services and request a quote.