How to Integrate IT Asset Disposition with Your Risk Management Strategy
Why IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is essential to risk management strategies for businesses in the US and worldwide.
A robust risk management strategy must include IT asset disposition as a critical vector of organizational risk. Risk management is constantly evolving to assess new and emerging risks to organizations, including cybersecurity concerns and data breaches for example.
It is therefore essential that the risk management strategy of an organization include the ITAD strategy to mitigate and reduce risks involved with IT assets.
What is IT Asset Disposition?
What is IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) and what type of ITAD services are available? IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is the process of reusing, recycling, and disposing of used electronics and IT assets in a secure and environmentally-friendly manner. Any business that has needed to get rid of old, redundant IT assets and equipment and/or to upgrade their current inventory will have likely come across the term ‘ITAD’ in some capacity.
There are multiple financial, cybersecurity, and environmental benefits to gain by choosing a reputable ITAD company. Furthermore, businesses can also maintain compliance with data disposal laws within jurisdictions in the United States and abroad.
While many ITAD services should include stakeholders in organizations such as IT professionals, procurement and logistics personnel and management, these services are often outsourced to a reputable and professional ITAD Company such as Wisetek. Risk management professionals working within an organization are also key stakeholders.
What is a Risk Management Strategy?
Organizational risks vary widely, ranging from more minor risks to severe risks that can potentially cripple the operations of a business temporarily or even permanently. They come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak, but they are always present in some capacity.
A business must carefully consider the acceptance/tolerance, transference, avoidance, and/or reduction of risks and risk vectors and create a risk management strategy that addresses all significant, non-negligible risks to the business.
For businesses today operating within the United States and globally, a major source of risk is data security and privacy being compromised by cyberattacks and data breaches.
While many organizations heavily invest in secure firewalls and network security, some organizations fail to consider the risks involved with redundant End-of-Life (EoL) IT assets and electronics and their disposal.
Why ITAD is Essential in Risk Management
Investing in secure networks and data centers can be an excellent way to mitigate risks to an organization in their day-to-day operations, but do not neglect the importance of EoL equipment and its risk potential.
Data breaches are nothing new; what is new is an emerging trend whereby the frequency and severity of data breaches are reaching record highs. IBM recorded its highest ever average cost of a data breach in 2021 at $4.24 million while the Identity Theft Resource Center recorded its highest ever occurrences of data compromises in the United States at 1,862 in 2021.
Not all data breaches are caused by savvy hackers that bypass network security. For many, the path of least resistance to compromising data security comes from thieves accessing old, discarded IT assets.
Organizations that fail to securely destroy sensitive data make the job of these thieves all the easier, often giving them full access to networks and passwords with little to no effort involved.
In addition to corporate-owned cell phones and laptops, organizations must also consider the risks involved with Data Centre Services and IT infrastructure used in traditional data centers. As many businesses shift towards outsourced cloud-based data centers, Data Center Decommissioning opens up another vector of risk from all of the discarded data center electronics.
How to Integrate ITAD with a Risk Management Strategy
Given the enormous risk potential posed by data disposal and poor data security methods, a risk management strategy must adopt a rigorous ITAD strategy that is well-integrated with any existing risk management strategies.
For organizations looking into how to develop a risk management strategy that includes ITAD, consider the following key heuristics:
- Data Security: does your organization undertake sufficient due diligence to ensure that all data is securely and thoroughly destroyed? Professional Data Destruction ensures that all data is rendered completely irretrievable, thus eliminating a major risk source for data breaches.
- National vs Global Challenges: do you need to consider the scope of risks involved only within your state, in jurisdictions across the United States, or globally? International businesses must consider risks involved wherever they operate, including data disposal laws, data privacy and security such as GDPR, etc.
- Auditable Tracking & Processes: does your ITAD company provide fully auditable processes? Live inventory tracking, Data Destruction Certificates, and full audit trails are necessary for full compliance.
- Regulatory & Corporate Compliance: is your organization compliant and adhering to all regulations both in jurisdictions where you operate and towards your own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts?
- Environmental Stewardship: is your organization’s data disposal sustainable and environmentally friendly? ITAD companies such as Wisetek are committed to a Zero Landfill Policy as well as a circular economy model that strives to reduce e-waste and to benefit the environment.
The Importance of an ITAD Strategy for Businesses
Just as risk management strategies are essential for businesses, ITAD strategies must also be established to mitigate risks related to e-waste and enterprise cybersecurity.
These are key benefits of an ITAD strategy with regards to risk management, but there are also many other benefits to an organization that chooses a reputable, professional ITAD company.
Businesses can maximize the ROI on their End-of-Life (EoL) IT assets with ITAD, since the efficient rotation of EoL equipment and diversion from landfills towards refurbishment or remarketing of old equipment can yield significant financial benefits.
Moreover, an ITAD strategy can better track remote IT assets held by employees working from home or working hybrid schedules thanks to inventory tracking and secure logistics. It’s also worth mentioning that new working arrangements created during the pandemic have also created numerous risks that can be solved by ITAD strategies.
Mitigate Environmental & Security Risks with an ITAD Strategy
Two of the biggest risks that must be considered are data security and e-waste disposal. At the very least, risk management professionals within an organization must consider these two sources of risk.
For data security, businesses must exercise full due diligence when it comes to data destruction. Hard Drive Disposal and degaussing, for example, must render all sensitive data completely irretrievable to reduce the risk of costly data breaches.
Environmental risks of e-waste are also a major growing concern in the United States and worldwide. There is increasing pressure on businesses to engage in more sustainable practices, which is why Wisetek operates a full Circular Economy model that reduces needless waste of electronics and the subsequent hazards they pose to the environment and wildlife.
Reduce Organizational Risk with ITAD Services from Wisetek
Wisetek is a leading global expert in ITAD services that complement your organization’s risk management strategy and ITAD strategy seamlessly and professionally. Our reputation for reliability, confidentiality, and secure data destruction makes us your ideal partner for reducing risks to your business. Get in touch with us today.
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