How Can You Securely Dispose of Your IT Assets?

How Can You Securely Dispose of Your IT Assets?

Written by Alison Lurie, In How To, Published On
October 4, 2022
Last modified on March 9th, 2023

Organizations maintain a significant amount of important data on IT systems and other assets. In order to protect the data, organizations make care to incorporate strong security measures and policies at every stage of the hardware lifecycle. However, there is a paucity of knowledge surrounding the secure disposal of IT assets during the “end-of-life” stage.

There may be major issues with data privacy if the IT assets are not appropriately disposed of. The storage devices hold private business data, including client information, credit card information, sales statistics, etc. This information might be disastrous for the business if it ends up in the wrong hands. Therefore, understanding the best ways to dispose of IT assets is crucial.

Let’s start by talking about the consequences of improper IT asset disposal.

Implications of Improper IT Asset Disposition

  • Negatively impact your brand’s reputation

You risk damaging your brand’s reputation if the leftover data in your IT assets is compromised. Potential clients may choose not to do business with you as a result of a data breach. Additionally, if a current customer’s data is exposed, you should expect a breakup with that customer.

  • Consequences for the Law

To protect the privacy of personal data, there are stringent laws in place, including the CCPA, GDPR, and HIPAA. The organisation may face severe fines if these rules are not adhered to. It is necessary to follow the guidelines set forth in these standards for secure data disposal.

  • Result in fraud

Your sensitive financial information could be made available to those who could abuse it if IT assets are not disposed of correctly. They have access to information about your bank accounts, credit card information, payment options, and PAN card. Scams, phishing attempts, and identity theft can all be committed using this information.

Best Practices for Securely Disposing of IT Assets

How Can You Securely Dispose of Your IT Assets?

Here are a few safe disposal techniques for IT assets.

  • Degaussing

The process of degaussing involves demagnetizing the magnetic fields of storage devices, including HDDs, magnetic tapes, etc. The market-available magnetic storage devices operate on the polarisation of the Weiss domains theory. They simply write and store data on magnetic field domains. Degaussing causes all of the data to be lost since these magnetic domains lose all of their magnetic domains.

The degaussing procedure renders a device useless after it has been completed. The devices can be demagnetized using a hardware tool called a degausser. This is a quick and secure way to get rid of IT equipment. Degaussing has one drawback, though, in that not all storage devices can benefit from it. The storage devices cannot be degaussed, even SSDs that utilise flash memory. Additionally, modern gadgets with a high magnetic field cannot be used with it effectively.

  • Shredding

Disassembling and physically destroying the storage device, whether it be a USB drive, hard drive, optical drive, or SSD, is referred to as shredding. The storage device can be disassembled into tiny pieces using a shredder (as small as 2 mm). The information stored there is lost along with the actual hardware. You can use Paper Shredders for the same.

The fact that this method of IT asset disposal generates a sizable volume of e-waste is one of its disadvantages. Additionally, buying a shredder is required for shredding, which adds to the expense and equipment in your office. A facility that shreds documents off-site is another option, but this could result in a security lapse.

  • Data Erasure

The technique of permanently deleting data from a storage device is known as data erasure. Most often, people make the error of formatting or removing the data from the storage device before throwing it away. But this does not completely wipe the device clean of data. The only method that ensures total data eradication is data erasure (wiping).

Market vendors offer a variety of data erasing tools. The data is permanently erased using the data erasure tools, which randomly overwrite the storage device (such as USBs, SSDs, HDDs, etc.) with new data. Businesses must follow certain data erasure guidelines, such as DoD 5220.22-M, in order to properly dispose of their data.

Anyone can reuse the device after data has been erased without running the risk of a data breach or theft. Additionally, unlike other methods of disposing of IT assets, it does not create e-waste. Erasing data is simple to do when using a sophisticated software solution like BitRaser Drive Eraser.

Final Remark

To protect the privacy of customer data, businesses must appropriately dispose of IT equipment. In order to properly dispose of IT, you must use methods like data erasure, degaussing, and shredding. Secure IT asset disposal is seen as a means of maintaining comprehensive protection for your company’s and your customers’ data rather than just an obligation to comply with regulations. You may safeguard your important corporate data by employing these IT disposal techniques.

Related articles
Join the discussion!