Gone are the days when business travelers sat in airports or in hotel lobbies with laptops burning a hole through their laps. Today, it’s all about tablets. Whether you lean towards Android or you are an Apple devotee, today’s tablets are powerful, lightweight, and easily portable, making them essential IT hardware for most corporations.
But, what most companies don’t realize is that these devices are essentially computers and just like their corporate servers and desktops, tablets can contain highly sensitive data that can leave the company at risk if secure data destruction is not performed when the devices are decommissioned or upgraded.
If your business uses mobile technology and it upgrades iPads or Android tablets often, then it needs to have a data destruction strategy in place specifically for these devices. Here are four steps to help you be sure you are securely removing sensitive data from your corporate iPads.
Any tablet that it used for business purposes needs to be managed under the company’s IT asset management policy. This means that any time a user receives an upgraded device that their old tablet must be handled in the same way as the company’s other IT assets. It needs to be turned over, tracked, and its data needs to be sanitized before it is redeployed, sold, or disposed of.
If your corporate iPads do not contain sensitive financial information, medical information, or customer data, and the devices are going to be redeployed within the company, then you may be able to simply format the devices back to their original state. But, if your company is going to be selling the tablets on the secondary market or it is allowing employees to keep the devices for private use, then the tablets need to have the data completely wiped in accordance with secure data destruction processes outlined by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Even though your tablets are being treated like your other IT assets, it is important to keep them organized and separated from your other equipment. The reason is because these devices are small and they can easily be misplaced. If your company uses tablets with different operating systems, such as iPads, Androids, and Windows 8 tablets, then it will help if you keep them organized according to their OS as each has different firmware tools and processes for returning the tablets to their factory settings.
Any time you conduct data destruction on your IT assets, you should keep a detailed document to record the process and the results. Keeping such records is important in order to prove compliance with regulations like HIPPA and PCI should your company ever be audited. Plus, documenting the procedure will help ensure that all of the tablets that were supposed to be processed actually were.
If you want to ensure that all of your sensitive data is effectively removed from your company’s decommissioned iPads and tablets, then you may want to consider hiring a company like Liquid Technology. We have the experience and tools necessary to guarantee compliant and secure data destruction and we even provide you with an auditable report of our results. Call us at 800-797-5478 today to schedule an assessment by one of our data destruction experts.