All hardware gets replaced at some point. In fact, according to Spicework’s 2018 State of IT Report, the average IT budget allots 31% to the purchase of new hardware. Whether you’re replacing a server, workstation, or printer, getting rid of that equipment involves more than just swapping out the hardware.
Historically, there wasn’t much need for concern regarding how you disposed of your old IT hardware. Old computer not keeping up anymore? Running too slowly? No problem. More often than not, it’s more cost-effective to order a new one. Then transfer your files, install the apps you need, and move on. The old computer might be donated to charity. Maybe you repurpose it elsewhere in the organization. Or perhaps it ends up being your child’s new toy.
Hard Drives Contain Everything
No matter what you do with the old equipment, people often overlook the old hard drive. Your old hard drive possibly contains everything from sensitive company data to passwords you use to access other resources. Handing someone your hard drive possibly gives them access to everything you do.
Hard Drive Data Breaches
Search for “hard drive data breach” on Google, and you’ll see story after story about data breaches that occurred simply because someone lost or had hard drives stolen. Some of these stories involve those drives containing financial spreadsheets, account information, and other sensitive data. For businesses that must comply with HIPAA, these types of breaches can lead to heavy penalties and fines.
Data Security Take Priority
The highest priority for any IT department is keeping your data secure. Consequently, this means having a process for decommissioning your old hardware. The steps involved vary from company to company, but storage devices should take highest priority.
How to Dispose of Hard Drives
Hard drives and storage devices should be physically removed from all equipment before disposal. It doesn’t stop there though. All data must be rendered unusable. The methods below can be used to accomplish this.
- Wipe – Software designed specifically for removing all data permanently
- Degauss – Equipment that uses a strong magnetic field to remove all data.
- Destroy – Physically destroying the drive by shredding, crushing, etc.
These methods (or a combination of them) ensure that your data can no longer be accessed. As a result, you don’t have to worry about a data breach.
We Can Help with Data Destruction
If you’re a Pit Crew client, know that your data won’t be found at the recycling center. Pit Crew IT Services has equipment disposal processes in place to keep your data secure. If you’re not a Pit Crew client, then contact us today. We become the IT department that takes care of you and your data. Contact us today for a free consultation.