Best Practices For Decommissioning Tech Hardware - CXtec

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Apr 4, 2022 3:12:27 AM

Whether you're migrating to the cloud or making a simple technology refresh, proper IT asset decommissioning helps you prevent...

Whether you're migrating to the cloud or making a simple technology refresh, proper IT asset decommissioning helps you prevent illegal dumping of your equipment and stay environmentally responsible. It also allows you to protect the sensitive business information stored on your retired IT assets. However, the disposal of old equipment is often perplexing and tedious for companies. It involves multiple steps, from technical de-installation and data sanitization to reverse logistics planning and compliance reporting. 

Failing to perform any of these activities properly may result in hefty financial and reputation losses for your organization. By formulating a reliable decommissioning policy, you can conduct IT asset disposal activities in an organized and accurate way. You can also work with a certified IT asset disposition (ITAD) services provider to rapidly plan and execute your decommissioning project. 

When to decommission your IT hardware 

You should consider hardware replacement when your IT device fails to perform its intended functionality. Another valid reason for replacement is when your device or any of its components performs below the expected standards. You can easily track the decline in the performance of your server, storage, or any other network equipment through monitoring tools. For instance, you can utilize server monitoring software to track the decrease in server uptime and CPU speed. Decommissioning is also a viable option when your IT equipment reaches the end of its useful life. Continuing the usage of outdated network devices can lead to cybersecurity and performance issues, and therefore you should replace such equipment immediately. 

Key considerations while decommissioning your technology hardware

Strategic planning and careful execution are crucial during any hardware decommissioning project. Outlined below are some valuable ideas for risk-free disposal of obsolete IT equipment; 

Maintain a detailed log to track the entire decommissioning process 

Ask your IT staff to create a digital logbook that centrally stores and manages data related to your retired equipment. The logbook should provide in-depth information about every decommissioned IT asset, including the date of disposal, type of equipment, hardware serial number and name, and asset destruction location. The logbook should also contain a checklist that the decommission staff should follow for the secure disposal of each asset. Creating such a to-do list ensures the scrapping of technology hardware as per your company policies. Besides, if you're working with a professional IT asset disposition partner, ensure they're fully accountable and transparent and use advanced information systems for asset auditing and reporting purposes.

Backup mission-critical business information 

The negligent behavior of employees during asset disposal often results in the deletion of sensitive business information such as customer data and company trade secrets. Therefore, you must take a cloud backup of the information stored on your old hardware to avoid data loss incidents. You can also use this backup as proof to showcase the type of data you've deleted from a particular gear during decommissioning. 

Verify asset identity before disposal 

Confirm the identity of every IT asset before you send it for on-site/off-site destruction. For instance, you can cross-validate the asset serial number with the logbook of decommissioned IT assets to ensure you're dealing with the right equipment. Besides, check the logbook to discover the employees who've used the equipment earlier. By identifying the users and their job roles, you'll get a better idea regarding the type of data stored on the hardware and how critical the data is from the enterprise standpoint. You can also employ IT asset management software to fast-track this entire identity verification process. 

Disable user access to obsolete IT assets

Managing user permissions and restricting unauthorized network access are crucial to improving your organization's overall security posture. While decommissioning technology hardware, examine the user access to the retired IT assets. Old user IDs or accounts with significant asset access can allow former employees and hackers to infiltrate your company's network and steal valuable information. Therefore, delete all the old user IDs during asset decommissioning to strengthen your network security. 

Securely wipe data from your IT hardware 

Failing to trace and wipe the confidential information stored on the decommissioned IT assets can significantly increase the risk of data exposure. Therefore, you should prefer working with an expert who offers high-quality data sanitization services. A certified vendor can help you securely wipe data from your obsolete hardware and maintain compliance with the data privacy laws of your industry. In addition, ensure that your data security partner adheres to the NIST and DoD standards and offers certificates of data destruction.

Destroy obsolete IT assets in an eco-friendly manner 

Physical destruction of damaged IT assets is generally the best option for companies to prevent unauthorized data access. However, ensure that the assets you're destroying don't have any reuse potential. Consider working with a certified IT asset disposition company to shred or destroy your unwanted equipment. They can offer you the right guidance on whether to refurbish or recycle your old assets by evaluating various aspects such as equipment age, functionality, and overall condition. An R2-certified ITAD expert can also help recycle your damaged equipment in an eco-friendly and responsible way. 

CXtec Advantage: Customized Decommissioning Solutions that Suits Your Business Needs 

Working with a reliable IT asset disposition partner can help companies decommission their technology hardware securely and efficiently. As a renowned and certified IT asset disposition expert, Atlantix Global - a business unit of Cxtec - can provide the proper guidance and support for decommissioning your obsolete IT assets. Partnering with Atlantix Global will allow you to focus on your core business functions without worrying about the operational burden of decommissioning. We deliver a one-stop solution that meets all your decommissioning needs, from technical de-installation and asset packing to reverse logistics management. 

As a NIST and DoD-compliant data sanitization partner, Atlantix Global can help professionally wipe data from your old IT assets to prevent data breach incidents. We also deliver reliable asset tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing you to trace the location of your device once it leaves your facility for off-site disposal. Moreover, you can request customized reports and certificates of asset destruction for auditing and compliance purposes. To know more about our end-to-end hardware decommissioning services, visit our website.