From credit card and social security numbers to bank account information, the financial industry is unique in that it deals directly with highly sensitive personal financial information. Consequently, when it comes to end-of-life IT asset disposition (ITAD), careful steps must be taken to avoid the risk of a data breach. Creating a secure and effective ITAD program tailored to industry specifics is a must.
What is ITAD?
IT asset disposition (ITAD) is a set of protocols for retiring electronic assets. ITAD vendors make sure your data is protected throughout the transportation process, thoroughly destroyed so data cannot be recovered and either refurbished or recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.
Learn more about e-waste and its effect on the environment here!
But not all ITAD vendors maintain the same high standards. Working with a trusted ITAD vendor helps assure that your data remains secure and that your assets don’t end up in a garbage heap or left in a warehouse because the vendor went under, making your company the next front page scandal.
It’s important within the financial industry to abide by laws and regulations that govern sensitive data.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 requires company employees to protect sensitive financial information at all times throughout the asset lifecycle. It also requires companies to frequently review ITAD procedures to make sure there are no loopholes or security flaws. Abiding by this law means committing to diligent, proactive data protection.
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 is a lengthy act that calls for reform in the way banks and lenders do business in order to protect consumers and avoid economic recession. Part of this act requires financial services businesses to be forthright with consumers regarding how their sensitive data is destroyed.
Both of these laws help govern the way financial services manage sensitive information and violations to these laws can result in hefty fines and bad publicity, ruining your brand image. A reputable ITAD vendor will help you stay compliant with industry standards.
Things to keep in mind
If you’re in the financial services industry and reviewing your ITAD plan or looking to implement ITAD for your business for the first time, here are a few things to consider:
- Be sure you educate all involved parties on your ITAD plan and how you can stay compliant with industry laws.
- Be clear about which devices within your company store sensitive data and must be discarded according to ITAD protocol and industry laws. (Hint: It’s probably not just computers and cell phones! Copiers, Smart TVs,…they contain data too!)
- Select a reputable third-party vendor instead of relying on your own company resources or selecting an uncertified vendor with low standards who pushes the hard sell. With ITAD, you get what you pay for. Certified processes, trust and transparency are key components of any effective ITAD service and cutting corners can have major consequences.
Are you interested in setting up an ITAD plan for your financial services business? Tech Dump understands industry laws and always advocates for safe and secure data disposal. Give us a call at (763) 432-3117 to learn more!