Securing Your Chain-of-Custody During IT Asset Disposition

Posted by on August 16, 2016

IT asset disposition

Securing your chain-of-custody during IT asset disposition

When managing the disposition of IT assets, items must be closely tracked to ensure the security of any data stored. Companies with various locations may find it challenging to ensure consistency of IT security at each location and generally desire working with one company to reliably manage their IT asset disposition for all sites. Tracking and transportation of devices must be considered not only upon departure but up until arrival to their final destination. This verification is especially important if a company intends to reuse or resell its IT assets.

Vendors will likely have varying security levels and it’s important to consider that when a driver pulls away with your IT equipment, your risk isn’t removed as well. If a company’s laptop was stolen from a truck and data were exposed, the company would still be liable.

Here are some elements to consider when it comes to the movement and transportation of your devices:

Request a Dedicated Truck

It is always recommended to have a dedicated truck that only holds your material to ensure there is a seal on the back of the truck that is recorded prior to departure and upon arrival at the processing facility. 

Ensure Transparent Tracking and Reporting

Thorough tracking of assets through serial number capture, scanned barcodes and sophisticated internal reporting systems will provide you with the ability to understand where your assets are and report back on these items for internal records. 

Look Into Facility Security

When devices arrive at the site for further processing it’s important that the building has security features in place which should typically involve restricted access, 24/7 surveillance, on-site guards, metals detectors, and more. This will help ensure the devices made it to their destination and will remain at this location.

Verify Certifications

Internationally there is an association setting standards for secure transportation known as the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA). This certification is one to note, but otherwise physically auditing the transportation process is the best approach to ensuring your equipment will arrive safely.

While these four considerations can help minimize your risk, newer services are taking security to another level by offering data destruction that occurs on-site at your location. Sims Recycling Solutions in particular has mobile shredding vehicles with shredding technology that can physically destroy thousands of hard drives per day. This service can begin with wiping and/or degaussing of hard drives right there in your office. Hard drives can then be loaded onto the truck and fed through the physical shredding system right then and there. While this service may appear excessive to some, it’s minimal when compared to the cost that could accumulate as a result of legal liability and fees, and loss of future business.

These critical elements of data protection, while significant, are only a small portion of what should be considered when discarding old devices. For a more detailed overview of security considerations, download this white paper on how to avoid a data breach during IT asset disposition.