Given the number of ransomware attacks occurring these days, protecting one’s operating data is paramount. And the simplest weaknesses make it easy for an attacker to gain access, planting the very problem that can shut down entire networks today. However, while companies are spending millions on the front end side of things where attacks are expected the most, the back end remains vulnerable, specifically old equipment that has to be cycled out.
Whether the equipment involves smartphones, desk computers or tablets and server drives, every one of these pieces represents a treasure trove of data and access information that can be used both to get access to a network as well as to know more about a given user who can be targeted by social engineering. The most successful system attacks today are not done through expensive password-cracking probes or brute force computerized attacks. Instead, entire systems are compromised through regular people who can be convinced to click on a link or provide access to information through basic deception and confusion.
Ideally, all of the equipment that is phased out of a company should be cleaned, purged, reset, or outright destroyed from functionality before it’s allowed to go to secondary markets or recyclers. However, most companies are not set up for the necessary processes required to do the job correctly. This is where the right ITAD vendor partnered with an operation is key. With a bona fide IT asset disposition or ITAD, vendor involved, a company can avoid serious privacy breach ramifications, potential data loss, and operate successfully knowing that obsolete and decommissioned tech equipment is being disposed of correctly.
Hackers and similar looking for a way into a network are resourceful, creative bunch. They don’t follow traditional methods, which is what makes them such a risk for organizations with a heavy reliance on digital data. Using non-mainstream methods, they are not beyond dumpster-diving and similar low-tech methods to find key pieces of information on equipment thrown out without making sure the data is purged first. For example, most companies are not aware that their copy machines can have the ability to store and save an image of every document photocopied. That’s a tremendous amount of random operational information that can be damaging in the wrong hands with a decommissioned copier left outback of the loading dock.
Hiring the right ITAD vendor not only provides data security and peace of mind; it’s just darn good business problem prevention. The cost of damage recovery is a thousand times more expensive than what it takes to prevent data breaches in the first place. Instead, with a partner positioned in the decommissioning stream that already exists within an organization as the equipment is cycled out, each risk point can be captured and cleansed appropriately, shutting down obsolete backdoors that are just as useful for hackers otherwise.
Don’t be another security breach statistic. Get a handle on your equipment life cycle and stop it from being your company’s Achilles Heel when it comes to IT security defense. The bad guys aren’t taking a break looking for new victims, but they almost always go for the easy path. Don’t be that target that does the hard work for them with your decommissioned tech.