Over the last few years, many of the nation’s data centers have increased their physical server count. Additionally, sales figures for new server purchases saw a rise of 2.9% over 2013. However, more important than the purchase and growth of this new equipment, is the disposal methods for the old servers being replaced. With recent security breaches at major corporations such as Target, responsible server disposal and data destruction has proven to be a key component to IT security, brand protection, and environmental responsibility.
What many companies overlook is that securing data on unwanted equipment can be just as important, if not more so, as protecting data on equipment still in use. The following information is intended to provide insight on how to manage end-of-life IT equipment in order to prevent a data breach and avoid potential litigation.
Understand the Risks
“Devices such as data arrays, data servers, hard drives, tape drives, routers, and switches are only some of the data-rich IT assets that can potentially expose your company’s confidential, proprietary, or network information,”** if handled improperly during the disposal process.
When disposing of obsolete data bearing devices, be weary of factors such as environmental law compliance, data protection, accountability, and environmental stewardship. Even if you outsource this service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can and will hold your company liable for improperly disposed equipment. E-waste recycling legislation varies by location, but regulation is getting stricter throughout the world.
The above risks and the 550+ laws that govern IT equipment disposal are reasons why it’s critical to work with a certified recycling company who will protect your data and ensure that your material is compliantly disposed of.
Consider the Options
The destruction of data in retired data center assets occupies only a small part of a company’s overall data security strategy, but no policy is complete without it. Hard drives assigned for re-use must be 100% overwritten with commercially certified software. Hard drives for disposal must be thoroughly degaussed with strong electromagnetic fields or physically destroyed.
For some, handling data destruction “in-house” might provide the most peace of mind, for others, having a third-party handle the process externally might be the most cost effective solution. There are plenty of vendors who can offer on-site, off-site, physical or software data destruction. Know which option works best for your company.
Choosing a Reliable Vendor
Finding and choosing a vendor to manage your IT assets can be a daunting and difficult task. There are many questions that need to be asked and details that need to be worked out so both sides know exactly where IT assets and servers are ending up.
A good place to start your search is with resources such as RecyclingWorks and R2 directories that showcase both local and national providers that are compliant in their recycling and data destruction methods.
Choosing an IT asset disposition partner? Here’s some tips
All-in-all it is important to remember that your organization is held accountable for the data and material in your IT equipment, even after retirement. Never before has data been more valuable or more vulnerable. By having a clear and concise disposal plan for unwanted technology, you make the security of data a priority rather than a postscript.
Considering disposing your old equipment? ICT Asset Recovery has over 20 years experience in IT recycling and re-marketing. Fill out one of our Contact Forms to start chatting with a representative about removing your unwanted technology in 48 hours or less!
Hi! My name is Ronnie Deaver, and I am the Marketing Manager here at ICT Asset Recovery, a nationwide provider of e-waste recycling. This may be the only post you see written directly by me, but rest assured you will still see many more high quality posts every week written by our amazing writers. Since this was our first post of 2015, it seemed appropriate that I should be the one to write it. Hope you found it valuable and stay tuned for future postings about data security, R2 compliance, data destruction, and electronic waste recycling in Massachusetts and beyond!
**Sourced from: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/11/12/prevent-data-breach-refreshing-server-equipment/