Managing Data Security Risks

Jul 11, 2019

Data security used to mean simply placing sensitive information in locked file cabinets. Today, it’s a little more complicated, with all kinds of confidential data existing on devices and in the cloud, locked away behind digital protections that could be breached if you make mistakes.

Managing data security risks has become a major concern for modern businesses, not only when data is in use, but also when you no longer need it, and this extends to computer equipment and mobile devices as well. With proper firewalls, encryption, password protection, and more, you can keep your data safe while it’s in use, but what about when you no longer need devices or data?

Here are just a few things to think about when it comes to managing data security risks appropriately for your Midwest business.

Data Review and Disposal
In terms of managing data itself, it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re not hanging onto consumer data any longer than you need to. While the U.S. has yet to adopt regulations as stringent as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU, the writing is on the wall. Companies that work with EU customers already have to comply with more stringent privacy laws, including rules about how long data can and should be saved, and you should include such measures in your data disposal policies.

One way to get started is with regular data audits to review files and determine what you should save and what can be disposed of. Whether you perform these audits annually, quarterly, or on another schedule that works for you, you can minimize risks for your company and your customers by disposing of confidential data you don’t need anymore.

Secure On-Site Device Storage
In addition to managing data, you need to properly track devices to avoid the dreaded ITAD reporting gap, whereby company devices simply fall through the cracks, along with any confidential data they may contain. Whether devices are lost, stolen, or merely misplaced, you need to make every effort to track inventory and minimize the risk of data loss.

You’ll want to start with a device tracking strategy, such as barcoding. Regular inventory audits are a must to verify device location, and you should arrange for secure, monitored, on-site storage when devices are temporarily out of commission (awaiting reassignment or repair) or slated for disposal. You’ll also want to implement a short time-frame for asset disposition to reduce risk of theft.

On-Site Shredding
You naturally want to make sure devices are properly disposed of, and this is best accomplished by working with a certified ITAD service provider, particularly one that offers on-site shredding you can witness. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that hard drives and other devices are destroyed, in keeping with applicable privacy laws and industry regulations, so you don’t have to worry about issues like data breach or identity theft.

Secure Transport and Recycling
With the right ITAD service provider, you don’t necessarily need to shred on-site. You can rest easy when you partner with a company that offers secure transport and storage until devices are shredded and recycled, not to mention transparency via a client portal and verifiable Certificates of Destruction and Recycling as proof for your records.

Managing data security risks for your North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa or Nebraska business is made easier with sound strategies and a certified ITAD service provider on your side. If you have facilities located in Sioux Falls, Fargo, Sioux City, Bismarck, Rapid City, Omaha, Lincoln, Northwestern Iowa or anywhere in between, SEAM can help.

Contact the qualified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more.