Nearly every business today has vital information stored electronically. Whether the data you store is sensitive business-specific information, accounting records, or your client’s personal data, the last thing you want is for the information to end up in the wrong hands.
Often, criminals access the data by simply sifting through the garbage. Your business’s castoffs, such as old computers and cell phones, can be the lucky jackpot for a data thief. Learn to manage your electronic waste so that your data remains safe.
Manage All Devices
A lost cellphone or laptop can lead to a major breach if you aren’t prepared for it. Fortunately, you can take steps in advance that will help.
Track All Devices
Have an inventory and tracking system in place for any employee-assigned electronics. You need to know what company devices are assigned to whom, and you also need a system in place for making sure none of these devices go missing. Further, any personal devices used for company business must also be tracked. To help, you can use tracking software and register devices with your security department.
Improve data security by keeping information off of take-home devices. Don’t allow employees to download files onto a device. Instead, use a remote access portal that has multi-step security access. Set up devices so that they don’t retain cache memory and the access portal remains secure even if a device is lost or stolen.
Install Remote Security
You may not be able to recover a lost device, but you can render it harmless. You can choose from many remote security options, including device encryption and erasing all data on the device remotely in the event the device is lost. Make sure the security strategies you implement can be activated quickly in the event of a loss, and have a reporting system in place so that your security department is aware of the lost device as soon as possible.
Control the Waste Stream
The next area of risk is your electronic waste stream. Thieves can often access sensitive information off the hard drives of your company’s various electronic waste, which means that no electronic device should end up in the public waste stream.
Contract With a Professional
A professional electronic recycling service can solve many of your waste stream security issues. Options for destroying data include resetting cell phones, wiping or overwriting hard drives, and destroying the hard drive or device completely. A professional service will use the most effective method for the specific device in question, while they follow safety and security protocols.
Every service is different, but generally your data won’t be destroyed immediately. If you contract with a professional service, the service picks up the electronic waste and transports it to a secure holding facility. There, the devices are cleared of all data and then they are separated for recycling, destruction, or disposal. Verify the protocols for every aspect of this process to confirm that there is little chance of a data breach.
Keep Items Out of the Landfill
Recycling old electronics isn’t just great for the environment, it’s also better for your business security. You must also adhere to any local regulations on electronic waste. Currently, 25 states have regulations in place for recycling and disposal of electronics. It can be difficult to implement these rules on your own, particularly if you operate in multiple states. Contracting with an e-waste recycler can solve this dilemma, since they will ensure everything is handled per the law.
Fortunately, data security on your electronic devices is attainable. Contact us to learn more about your e-waste recycling and data security options.