The Importance of Data Destruction on Corporate Digital Devices
As organizations employ more and more IT devices for work and productivity, pertinent questions surrounding data protection, privacy and data security must be answered.
The global pandemic of 2020 has radically transformed the way in which many employees work, mostly thanks to the widespread availability of high-speed internet and the proliferation of technology that permits remote work. Perhaps it is a silver lining, considering that were the pandemic to have occurred even a few short decades ago, working from home would have been simply impossible for most employees.
Although modern technology has boosted productivity, even during the pandemic, it has also exposed an Achilles’ heel for organizations due to the widespread frequency and severity of data breaches. Data protection, personal data security and effective Data Destruction strategies are more important than ever
The modern digital workplace uses devices that are far more powerful than their predecessors, available at far lower prices, and with far more functionality than imaginable even a decade ago. Phones, laptops, and tablets using cloud-based software and high-speed internet connects employees to each other and customers around the world in real-time.
Working from home, is now just as productive thanks to modern technology. However, there is one fundamental difference that stands out: security.
Most modern offices have multi-layered security for physical and data access. Offices are often protected by CCTV, security guards, key card access, and robust lock and key systems. Computers and IT devices have compartmentalized access controlled with passwords and encryption.
While these security features are standard in many office spaces, most simply are not feasible for employees working remotely.
Theft of IT devices has two possible consequences for an organization: first, the asset’s cost must be accounted for, and second; the thief may have access to sensitive data which can potentially result in a data breach. Even with cloud computing and online data storage, loss or theft of physical devices is still amongst the most common methods of exposing sensitive data.
Cybercrime is one of the predominant sources of data theft, and the perpetrators often deliberately try to cause as much damage to organizations as possible. Obviously, this is a serious situation and failure to report data breaches in due time can result in large fines under GDPR.
Note that even American companies can be punished harshly with heavy fines from the GDPR if they are engaged commercially with citizens of the European Union or store, collect, or otherwise use private data on EU citizens.
Keep your organization safe and ensure that your physical assets are all inventoried and tracked. Employees should be encouraged to report loss or theft immediately so that remedial action can follow.
IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Strategy
Every business today must have an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) strategy in place. The way in which we work has changed, perhaps for the foreseeable future. Employees working from home must have the resources available to keep their devices safe and secure. This is also applicable when IT assets are replaced or disposed of at end-of-life.
An important element of an ITAD strategy is to implement an IT Asset Register which inventories and tracks all IT assets, whether they have been sent out to home workers, are still in the office, which assets are in storage or awaiting disposal, etc. Keep this register up-to-date with notes on the condition of the asset as well as its value.
Furthermore, ensure that all IT assets are encrypted in the event of loss or theft. Also be sure to implement workplace policies that outline the proper usage of company-owned IT assets, the importance of data security, the ease at which data theft and data breaches can occur and how to take practical steps to mitigate this from happening.
Ensure that all lost or stolen IT assets are reported as soon as possible to relevant personnel. It may be possible to perform remote memory wipes or to ‘brick’ the device, thus rendering its data irretrievable.
Wisetek’s Remote IT Service
It’s becoming clear that the work-from-home workplace forced upon millions of Americans in 2020 will remain in place for the long-term – pandemic or no pandemic. Many employers have begun to see noticeable benefits from this working arrangement, but it also comes with its own costs.
Serving a dispersed workforce across a city, state, or even internationally poses many risks. Employee turnover, for example, means that you’ll need to have a system in place to collect the company-owned assets from the employee’s place of residence and have them returned to storage or a sorting facility. You will also need to have the device securely wiped, its value appraised, and then refurbished for new employees.
These challenges are all addressed with Wisetek’s Remote IT Service. We provide a cost-efficient means of keeping your IT assets safe and secure which alleviates much of the burden placed on HR, IT and Finance departments.
Remote work is here to stay. How your company chooses to manage your IT assets has also changed, and those companies that find safe and secure means of protecting data in this new workplace will stand to benefit more than those that do not adapt.