Organisations that operate within the financial industry deal with highly sensitive data on a regular basis. It is important that this sensitive data, and the equipment it is stored on are properly protected throughout the entirety of its lifespan, and properly disposed of at the end of its life. In this blog, we cover ITAD best practises for organisations within the financial industry.
Deletion Doesn’t Mean Destruction
Simply deleting the data from your computers and devices does not mean that they could not be recovered by a hacker further down the line. In reality, deleting data simply means that the space it took up on your device is now available for other uses and, until the data, and the space it occupies on your device is overwritten, it could still potentially be recovered. In fact, to ensure complete data destruction you should overwrite the data as many times as possible, with the mindset that the more you overwrite, the less likely your data is to be recovered.
Leave No Device Forgotten
Computers, laptops and mobile phones are easy to remember when it comes to the safe disposal of your IT assets because of their size. However, it is also important that you consider your smaller IT assets, such as external hard drives, printers and USB drives. You should treat these devices in exactly the same way that you would your larger IT assets, overwriting data as well as physically destroying the devices. Creating and regularly updating an inventory of your IT assets will help you to ensure that all devices are covered.
Abide by WEEE Regulations
When disposing of your IT assets, it is important that you act in accordance with the WEEE regulations, which aim to reduce the amount of electronic waste, encouraging reuse or recycling as an alternative. Complying to the regulations means that fewer devices end up in landfill, as they are checked for any parts that can be recycled, minimising the negative impacts that ITAD could have on the environment. You should always choose an ITAD company that is WEEE compliant, and holds a waste carriers license.
Use a Service You Can Trust
It is important that you select an ITAD provider that you can trust to dispose of your IT assets effectively. Not only is it important that the company has the relevant accreditations, it is also important that they can offer the correct support for your business type. Choosing an ITAD provider that specialises in disposals for the Financial Industry is important, as it means they will have determined a specific procedure for dealing with financial IT assets. They should also be able to provide you with data destruction certificates and a complete audit trail, which will allow you to monitor the journey of your data and assets and will be necessary under the GDPR, which comes into effect in May. The ideal ITAD company will also use GPS-tracked vehicles, so that you are able to track your devices from your offices to the destruction facilities.
ITAD is not a task that should be taken lightly, as improper disposal is one of the main causes of a data breach. Instead of seeing the guidance that surround ITAD as a burden, you should see it as the opportunity to provide the ultimate security for both your company and your clients.