With Halloween just around the corner, there’s a chill in the air. Things go bump in the night, and people are nervous about what might be lurking in dark alleys or even under their bed. Things might be getting scarier as the evenings get darker, but do yourself a favour this year and forget about ghosts, goblins, zombies and vampires, and instead be afraid of the effect that a data breach could have on your organisation…
Data Breaches have Seriously Scary Consequences
Many business owners are haunted by thoughts of what would transpire in the event of a data breach, and with good reason – it’s one of the scariest things that can happen to a company. From financial repercussions to, depending on the quantity and sensitivity of the data lost, the potential for long-lasting reputational damage, a data breach can have significant consequences for companies.
With GDPR set to come into force in just a few months’ time, on 25th May 2018, the potential consequences of a breach will be even graver. Companies that experience a data breach and are unable to demonstrate compliance to the legislation could be held liable to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover, depending on which is greater. For many Irish companies, fines of this magnitude could potentially hamper their ability to continue trading. All told, it’s enough to keep CEOs awake at night – and usually not even thoughts of Frankenstein’s monster can do that!
Organisations must Consider Data on old Devices
When it comes to minimising the risk of harmful data leaks, organisations need consider data residing on old IT equipment as well as on their live environment. When it comes to disposing of old computers and laptops, many companies simply relegate them to the storage room, where they often remain for many years.
In fact, the results of a recent survey carried out by TechPro magazine in association with AMI found that almost half (47.5%) of Irish companies keep end-of-life IT assets on their premises for more than six months. A further 12.8% of respondents said that they don’t know how long these assets remain on their premises for.
Companies not keeping Records of Equipment in Storage
Not only do these findings highlight that a significant number of organisations don’t have formal processes in place to cover the disposal of end-of-life IT, but they also show that some companies don’t keep records of equipment being stored. Without the ability to refer to precise records, it can be extremely difficult for organisations to account for each and every device, greatly increasing the risk of a potential data breach.
The last thing any organisation wants is for long forgotten sensitive business information to re-emerge after lying dormant for many years. To avoid this possibility, companies need to avail of the services of a certified IT retirement specialist like AMI.
AMI uses technologically advanced equipment and processes, not wizardry, to obliterate digital skeletons (to the most stringent global standards). This minimises the risk of harmful data leaks, allowing those CEOs to sleep easy.
AMI to run GDPR-awareness Seminar
AMI is also helping Irish organisations deal with that other spectre on the horizon – GDPR. To help businesses understand the legal requirements of the legislation, AMI will host a free seminar on Thursday, November 23rd in the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin.
Guest speakers on the day will include Steve Mellings, CEO of the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA); Paul Hearns, editor of TechPro magazine; and Pearse Ryan, partner with Arthur Cox solicitors. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with senior IT decision-makers and GDPR experts, and gain valuable insights into how to prepare for the coming regulation.