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End of the Line: Tips on Managing IT Assets

End of the Line: Tips on Managing IT Assets

Information security is a big part of business operations today. More than 80% of business-related information and files are now stored digitally, which is why the growing need for better data security is easy to understand. After all, the majority of your business operations depend on how well you protect your data.

What many business owners often neglect is the fact that information security isn’t only important for files and data that are still in use. It is also necessary to safely archive and discard obsolete information in a safe manner too. Are you managing your obsolete data properly? These next few tips will help you start deleting data in a safe manner.

Understand the Risks

Data wiping is important for two reasons. First of all, you are maintaining the health of your storage drives by properly wiping data before adding more. By prolonging the lifetime of your storage drives, you are also saving money in the long run.

Securely wiping unused data also helps prevent those files from being recovered. The task is even more important to do properly when you are selling old hardware, or throwing away old and broken disks that were previously used to store sensitive business information.

Put a Procedure in Place

Just like other parts of information security, getting everyone in the business involved in securely removing obsolete and unused data is how you ensure maximum protection. After transferring files to flash drives or using a portable disk for acquiring information, employees need to know how to properly wipe those drives and prevent sensitive information from being restored.

A clear and concise information security policy is needed, and it must include data erasure procedures for maximum protection. The policy must also include wiping data from outgoing items such as old PCs and servers, laptops being replaced, and drives that are no longer in use.

Compartmentalize

Similar to the way your relevant data and files are being compartmentalized, access to obsolete data needs to be limited to authorised personnel only. Yes, this includes limiting the number of employees authorized to handle obsolete hardware and old drives.

Compartmentalizing obsolete data and the data erasure process also helps limit potential leaks. This is a must-have and a worthy approach to implement if your business deals with a lot of sensitive information, including customer details, purchase history, and trade secrets.

Find a Trusted Supplier

At a certain point, handling data erasure and destruction in-house is no longer the most efficient way. When you are refreshing hardware used across the business, for example, you will have a higher amount of hardware to properly screen and wipe. Working with a trusted supplier is the way to go.

There are data erasure and destruction services available on the market due to the growing need for better information security. Finding a trustworthy service provider is relatively easier now that you have organizations like the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reviewing methods and approaches closely.

So, are you ready to handle your obsolete data better? Whether you want to archive that data or delete the files, good information security practices are still needed. Use the tips discussed in this article to get started with better management of data erasure.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.