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Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
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Data Security Tips Throughout Enterprise Devices' Lifecycles

US Micro Corporation, a firm that helps companies dispose of IT assets, shared some tips at the I&T offices on how to make sure data are secure throughout the adoption, life and retirement of hardware.

Tuesday, I met with Jim Kegley, president; and Herb Biggers, chairman of the advisory board, from US Micro Corporation, a Smyrna, Ga.-based company that helps wipe data from and dispose of legacy IT equipment. Kegley shared some tips on data security, before, during and after a device is active.

Before: Record-keeping. "Right now, Bank of America is spending a lot trying to account for every hard drive in its enterprise" in the wake of Wikileaks, Kegley notes. It may be time consuming, but as the amount of devices accessing enterprise systems grows, it's going to be increasingly important for IT to keep meticulous records of who has what device and drive.

During: Encryption. "Any company not running encryption is short-sighted," Kegley says. 95% data encryption is considered a top-performing company, he explains — and even that 5% unencrypted spread over the amount of devices that are deployed in the enterprise today can be a huge problem. Encryption services are available for computers, phones and tablets, "and technology's coming out that allows hardware-level encryption for servers that doesn't impede performance," Kegley adds. "The current generation [of smartphones and other devices] is very good on encryption."

After: Stay abreast of who gets your old equipment. "I can't believe the state of New Jersey is advertising, 'This stuff was ours,'" Kegley says. If you're trying to recoup costs by selling wiped drives, be sure you're using best practices for cleaning it off and know where it's going. Overseas buyers are often after any data they can find, Kegley notes. Some drives are unable to be completely wiped, like the flash memory favored by smartphones and tablets (and some laptops), and must be physically destroyed, he adds.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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