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[Column] Wale Arewa: Safeguard sensitive data before disposal

[Column] Wale Arewa: Safeguard sensitive data before disposal

Many companies that experienced delivery delays due to disrupted supply chains have now received their IT equipment upgrades for 2020.

This means there is an abundance of redundant electronics ready for disposal.

Scrapping storeroom bound computers without proper consideration for data protection processes and regulations, or the proper elimination of data, could be disastrous for any company.

With modern companies constantly acquiring new technologies, there is a corresponding and often overlooked increase in retired IT assets. These outdated PCs, laptops, monitors and other IT equipment tend to quietly pile up in storerooms.

IT asset managers should practice due diligence and ensure their storerooms go through the expected data erasure techniques essential to protect company data.

Asset disposition presents unique challenges and potential costs that companies seldom consider, it must be done professionally. Also, disposing of this equipment in a haphazard manner, through auctions or staff sales, is risky.

Controlling and having insight into a company's IT assets is critical in today's technology-driven business environment. In order to manage these IT assets more efficiently, drive down costs, increase productivity and reduced risk, one needs clear and comprehensive visibility into the whole lifecycle of an IT asset with a spotlight on IT disposal.

Companies should try and schedule a year-end asset disposal and data destruction campaign. This is a good time to clear storerooms out and start 2021 with a clean slate. However, asset disposition presents unique challenges and potential costs that companies seldom consider - it must be done professionally.

IT disposal has legislative requirements, compliance to Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (PoPI 2013), the National Environmental Waste Management Act 2008 (NEMWA 2008), the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Most businesses struggle to manage IT assets effectively because they do not have a clear picture of the assets they have deployed. Consequently, they probably pay unnecessary insurance and other charges due to inaccurate IT asset inventory data.

It doesn't have to create a strain on limited resource as many are still working from home. ITAD service providers can efficiently erasure data while and offering value for most redundant equipment.

Wale Arewa is the CEO of Xperien


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