One CIO's Trash, Is The Same CIO's Liability

Posted by Steve Bossert

Nov 11, 2013 12:07:00 PM

What happens when end use computing, mobile devices and data center infrastructure reach the end of its useful life in the enterprise environment?  It turns into a major business liability.

13737975_xl_electronic_wasteEach week, vast amounts of hardware is discarded by corporations large and small as they replace or upgrade to newer computing hardware.  Some companies believe that they are doing the right thing during the decommissioning process by focusing on following ecologically sound recycling practices. This often includes "deleting" information or "wiping" VoIP or mobile phones to round out the end of life process.


However, once these steps have been undertaken, few firms ever take the trouble to independently audit what is left on those drives or trace where they ultimately go in their long journey after they leave. Unfortunately pressing “delete” is seldom enough.

Robert Plant, who is an associate professor at the University of Miami says:

"Security is only as strong as the weakest link. Law enforcement, the security services and industrial spies who dumpster dive (or, more accurately, bid on containers of e-waste) have the tools and the capabilities to retrieve your deleted data from sources such as cache memory and discarded routers. In addition, they can piece together data from multiple sources."

The professor goes on to cite an example that could happen at any financial services firm that does not properly vette its chosen IT asset disposal, computer recycling or data destruction partner.

Anyone who has "C" as part of the professionally assigned title, should not only pay close attention to what is spent when acquiring new IT equipment or even a new full size printer or copier, but also on future costs involved in decomissioning that asset. Environmental, data security and corporate liability are all to be equally thought about. You can not afford not to.

Perhaps for many firms it is time to start reassessing their corporate-information disposal processes. They need to stop thinking of this as a disposal problem for facilities to handle and realign this under the correct risk-management authority it truly deserves. One good place to start is to look into the costs of on-site data destruction and hard drive shredding.

On a per HDD basis, it may be the best business decision that can be made for less than the cost of a soup and half a sandwhich combo at your favorite NYC deli, pickle and sides not included.




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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT End of Life Strategy, data destruction, hard drive shredding

World’s Biggest Physical Data Breaches: Visualized

Posted by Steve Bossert

Sep 18, 2013 4:43:30 PM

Ever hear of this thing called “big data”?  It is hard to visualize reams of information and how to make them useful, especially when it comes to understanding all the different kinds of data breaches and industries most effected. Creative engineers and information designers are helping the masses better make use of all this information available to us today.

There is an excellent project that the inventor of one of our favorite internet and mobile games has been working on that helps highlight this growing problem by illustrating just how much is at risk regarding data breaches.

What does this all mean?

Ever wonder how many recorded data breaches have taken place in the financial sector in the last five years?  Or, how about the number of records over 30,000  that have been compromised due to the theft of stolen media or a stolen computer?


ITAMG helps our clients protect themselves from physical data breaches that often happen when desktops, laptops, servers and even printers are retired from active use. The healthcare, academic and financial industries make up a large part of our business.

Quick Analysis

  • Academic & financial institutions seems to have tightened their security since the mid 2000 – or become less attractive targets
  • Gaming sites, cumulatively, account for the biggest data breaches
  • Healthcare is truly truly leaky – a very worrying trend – with over 50% of the breaches coming from stolen or lost computers
  • Accidental publishing seems to be a growing trend – recently with Facebook granting inadvertent access to 6 million records

David’s work can be explored here and the full range of ITAMG services offered that can help your organization not show up in the dataviz can be read about on the ITAMG website, our LinkedIN page or even our exclusive BBM Channel (C000D71D4).


Topics: IT Asset Disposal, data security, IT End of Life Strategy, data destruction


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