How to Manage the ITAD Reporting Gap

May 22, 2019

Ideally, your Sioux Falls, SD business will track every IT device within your organization from the moment you buy it until the moment it is destroyed. However, even with a tracking system in place, this isn’t always entirely feasible.

Not only are you dealing with potentially hundreds or thousands of devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and more, but there’s the unpredictable human element to contend with. You have to rely on employees to behave responsibly with company property, but people can be lazy, forgetful, and irresponsible. They might lose devices or outright steal them.

When you lose track of company devices somewhere between purchase and disposal, the phenomena is known as the IT asset disposition, or ITAD, reporting gap. If you have significant occurrence of reporting gap, it could not only increase risk factors for data theft, identity theft, and data breach, but it could constitute neglect on your part, which is why it’s essential bridge this gap. There are a few steps you can take to better manage your inventory.

Inventory Control
The most important aspect of minimizing the ITAD reporting gap is making sure your system for tracking inventory is comprehensive and proactive. A barcode scanning system is smart, but it should still be linked to serial numbers for devices, just in case unscrupulous employees decide to remove bar code stickers.

One person or department should be in control of inventory to reduce errors and miscommunication. There should be a process in place to recover devices when employees leave the company or you upgrade to new equipment, and you should conduct frequent audits to make sure devices are where they’re supposed to be.

Protect Devices
Encryption and password protection are essential security measures, but they only help if devices are stolen by a third party, not if they’re taken by an employee that already has access. For this reason, you should also include anti-theft measures to find device locations and/or wipe them remotely, just for example. These precautions could save you from legal trouble, if not necessarily the cost of replacement.

Penalize Loss or Theft
You never want to believe that your trusted employees would steal devices, but you have to proceed as if they will in order to protect your company, your customers, and the confidential data they entrust to you. Making your policies and procedures clear to employees is important, but they also need to be aware of the penalties for loss or theft of devices.

If devices are lost or stolen due to employee carelessness, the cost should come out of their pay. This will motivate most employees to treat your devices as carefully as their own. There should also be penalties if employees fail to report loss immediately, increasing risks for data theft before devices can be remotely accessed and wiped, or alternately, recovered.

Of course, instances of proven theft should be met with swift and immediate action, including job termination and report of theft to the authorities. Making employees aware of penalties could help to prevent loss and theft, effectively narrowing the ITAD reporting gap.

Proper disposal of IT assets is also important. Your Sioux Falls, SD business can reduce the risk of theft by immediately handing retired devices off to a certified ITAD service provider for destruction. Contact the qualified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more.