Improper maintenance of a data center can open a company up to a host of liabilities. On a purely physical level, things can get quite messy in a very short time. Imagine tangled wires, dusty surfaces, and old, rickety server racks. But if your company doesn’t account for the data stored on said old equipment, the consequences can be much more severe.
Does your company have a protocol in place for dealing with out-of-date equipment? If that protocol isn’t comprehensive enough, an entire operation can be at risk for a security breach.
This article is focused on the necessity that is a clean, up-to-date data center - and the major security threats that will be mitigated as a result of good upkeep. The first step is to assess the amount of old, defunct equipment in your data center. The next step involves the reorganization of your data into a more streamlined structure. And after that comes the easy part - utilizing an asset distribution service that comprehensively sanitizes the data stored on said equipment.
Assess Current Equipment
Outdated equipment can be a hassle to deal with. Perhaps your company has taken to stuffing all of its out-of-use servers into an unused space - unfortunately this doesn’t count as proper disposal. And as long as those old servers are still around, your organization is harboring a potential security risk and an unnecessary waste of office space.
Keeping a record of all of your organization’s outdated data center assets will allow you to categorize the equipment that could be a security threat. There’s too much at stake for your company to be careless in its ITAD practices - over 70% of customers say that they would leave an organization after a data breach.
Streamline Your Data
Once you’ve separated the essential equipment from the inessential, the next logical maneuver is to categorize and organize your data in the most streamlined way possible.
Divide your currently relevant data from your archival data and be diligent about organization - with the necessary legwork you will be able to build a hierarchy of data and know which assets require more stringent encryption.
Better organized data means less manpower needed to review and manage said data. In addition, you’ve increased your accountability and transparency - two very important factors in employee and customer retention.
More importantly, proper data organization will vastly reduce the lifespan of a data breach. According to a 2018 study by the Ponemon Institute, the average time it takes for a company to identify a security breach is 196 days. If your company knows how to store and encrypt all of its sensitive data, then the risk of losing that data has decreased - and it will be far less painstaking to locate and neutralize the security breach.
Account For Your E-Waste
After your organization has identified its outdated equipment and taken the correct steps to streamline all of the necessary data, the next step is the easiest one. The task is to utilize an ITAD vendor that can manage your E-waste with the necessary attention to detail.
As our global society becomes more technologically adept, more and more electronic waste is generated. The amount of global e-waste is predicted to grow by 8 percent each year - and outdated data center assets certainly contribute to that figure.
Utilizing a reputable E-waste vendor will guarantee an environmentally-friendly approach to your outdated assets, but just as importantly it will guarantee the E-waste vendor of your data. Perhaps you won’t be able to reuse an old server (not that you would want to) but your organization can be assured that any leftover data will be completely wiped or destroyed.