With the upcoming introduction of far reaching regulations, such as the GDPR, data security is a topic on every business owner’s mind in 2018. Ensuring the security of your data while it is active is one of the greatest issues faced by businesses on a day to day basis, but what happens when that data reaches the end of its life, and the time comes to dispose of it? This is often the most vulnerable stage for data, particularly when it is stored or transferred from one place to another.

In order to mitigate the risks involved in storing and transporting end of life data, a fully auditable chain of custody is invaluable.

What is the Chain of Custody?

Decommissioned assets can represent a significant security liability to a business. If they are simply shut away in a dark room and forgotten about they are apt to go missing, to be taken by an employee or moved without anyone’s knowledge to a different part of the building. For this reason it is often necessary to entrust your end of life assets to an ITAD company, who will dispose of the assets safely, securely and responsibly.

When you take the decision to engage an ITAD vendor to dispose of your IT assets, you will require written documentation that the process has been carried out legally and securely, cataloging every step in the disposal process, from transportation through to data destruction. This is the chain of custody, a fully auditable paper trail that documents what was done, when, and by whom.

Importance of Chain of Custody

Data security breaches are becoming increasingly commonplace in the UK. According to a government study as many as 90% of large organisations and 74% of SMEs reported a security breach in 2015, resulting in combined regulatory fines of £1.4 billion. That may seem like a lot of money, but regulatory fines for data breaches are set to increase exponentially with the introduction of the GDPR in May, 2018. Indeed, if data breaches remain at the levels recorded in 2015, regulatory fines could see up to a 90-fold increase, from £1.4 billion, to a staggering £122 billion.

With the financial implications of a potential data breach now so high, it is imperative that your data is protected and secured throughout its lifecycle. By entrusting your data to a reputable and fully qualified ITAD company, who are able to scan, track and catalogue every step of the disposal process, you will be in possession of a detailed audit trail. This will serve to protect your business against any potential regulatory fines that could be incurred for a data breach that may result from IT assets being improperly stored, recycled or disposed of.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to understand where you stand in relation to your end of life IT assets, in order to be able to act in the best interests of your business. By hiring a trusted ITAD vendor you minimise the risk your business is exposed to when disposing of IT assets, and protect yourself legally with a fully auditable chain of custody paper trail in the event that any data breach should occur.

EOL IT Services are the most accredited ITAD in the UK. Our list of accreditations goes beyond the industry standard requirements, and distinguishes us as the leading ITAD authority in the United Kingdom. Contact us today on 0845 600 4696 or visit https://www.eolitservices.co.uk/services/it-asset-disposal/ to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.

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