End-of-Life Data Concerns Could Cost Companies a Lot

Sep 22, 2020

Implementing IT hardware upgrades is an exciting, if harrowing process.  On the one hand, upgrading to new servers, computers, hard drives, or other modern equipment can help to increase efficiency and security.  On the other hand, you’re left with a load of old equipment that must be dealt with appropriately.

If you own outdated equipment, this means deciding if you want to try to remarket it or simply shred it, but if equipment is leased, it must be returned to the leasing company.  Unfortunately, all of these scenarios can pose a risk for data theft if companies fail to properly plan for end-of-life or end-of-lease procedures.

Why is it so important to focus on this stage of IT asset life-cycle?  What can your South Dakota business do to mitigate risk factors and eliminate concerns about data theft?

End-of-Life Planning

When companies purchase IT assets, the last thing they’re thinking about is the end of the asset life cycle.  You’re likely more concerned with integrating new infrastructure, onboarding employees, and ramping up productivity.  End-of-life planning is a later problem, right?

Unfortunately, putting off planning for the complete life cycle of your product could mean that you reach the end with no clear plan in place.  What happens then?  In some cases, equipment just ends up gathering dust in a storage area.  This, in and of itself, is risky.  If hard drives or other devices still contain sensitive data, your company is at high risk for theft, both internal and external, that could lead to data breach and identity theft.

What about leased equipment?  This is even worse, because it’s out of your hands.  Returning equipment containing confidential data puts you at risk in a variety of ways.  Equipment could be snatched during transport.  Data could be viewed or taken by employees of the leasing company.  Or equipment could go out on a new lease with data remaining.

With proper policies and procedures in place regarding the full life cycle of your IT assets, you can avoid these problems.  Your employees will know exactly what to do to ensure complete elimination of data, as well as destruction of equipment, when applicable.

Why is End-of-Life Planning So Important?

Technology advances at a rapid pace, any many companies plan for turnover of equipment every few years in order to keep up.  This means you’ll frequently find yourself dealing with a stockpile of outdated IT assets that must be managed in compliance with consumer privacy laws, and possibly industry-specific regulations regarding particularly sensitive data (medical, financial, etc.).

Whether you’re planning to remarket, shred, or return leased items, ensuring the security of data should be your top priority, considering the consequences of data breach and consumer identity theft.  Unless you want to deal with penalties, lawsuits, and loss of customers, revenue, and reputation, you cannot afford to wait until the last minute and phone it in, or worse, do nothing at all to remove or destroy data.  With proper planning, you have the best chance to protect your customers and your company from the nightmare of data theft.

If your South Dakota business needs help with IT asset shredding or wiping, contact the certified ITAD service providers at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.