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Retired IT assets on hold waiting for secure disposition. What’s the risk?

Retired IT assets on hold waiting for secure disposition. What’s the risk?

Posted in Blog

Glenn Laga

Your new IT equipment is in! Woo hoo!

STOP. Before you even think about opening those boxes, what are you doing about the retired IT assets?

  • Do you have an IT asset disposal procedure in place?
  • Do the devices contain private or confidential data of any kind?
  • Is your business governed by industry laws such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley or FDA? see regulations/compliance page
  • Where will your devices be stored until scheduled for data destruction?
  • Is that storage solution secure?
  • Is that storage solution adequate?

Without an up-to-date and known IT asset disposal procedure in place, you are just opening the door for sensitive assets to simply disappear. It’s not just the scramble to locate what’s missing and determine the collateral damage. The result could leave your company open to fines, corporate embarrassment and possible litigation should a data breach occur. In fact, it happens. From 2005-2015, 41% of all data breach events were due to devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones that were MIA.


Start with secure storage. Whether a few days, a few weeks or even just hours, your IT equipment needs a place where it can be held securely until an approved asset disposition plan and vendors are finalized.

Where? Not in a storeroom. Not in a supply cabinet. Not in a drawer. Not piled on an empty desk. And certainly not in the corner of a warehouse. We’ve seen it all.


Depending on your space constraints, the size and quantity of devices and the date of your next asset transfer (disposition, lease return, redeployment), we recommend:

  • A designated onsite storage cage, room, or closet with very limited access and secured entry
  • Offsite secure storage and management by your ITAD vendor
  • An onsite lockbox system

Whatever storage system you devise, it should include thorough device tracking by serial # to ensure a full chain of custody process and documentation. IF something does turn up missing, you want to know.


Lockboxes securely hold items until your ITAD, data destruction provider or other third party vendor is scheduled for the asset transfer. The lockbox can be securely emptied and inventoried onsite or used to pack and transport live hard drives, tapes, etc. When lockboxes are transported with your equipment inside, they should always include locks, tamper-proof seals, asset transfer forms and full tracking documentation.

Lockbox programs are perfect for small data destruction quantities and remote locations. You’ll be in compliance and assured that your data is safe with a container-based program.


It’s up to you to figure out a process and secure place that prevents your assets and data from walking out the door. Or just misplaced. There are onsite options so that device size, quantity or budget aren’t an excuse for failing to create a secure asset storage location.

Guardian’s Secure Lockbox program fulfills the needs for many small and out-of-the-way companies that need a temporary solution. With lockboxes ranging in size and portability, there is a secure place to stash and inventory data-sensitive items until disposition arrives onsite or the container is sealed and securely transported.

Following such a process will, in many cases, eliminate the chance of data theft and maximize the efficiency of your IT asset disposal procedure and equipment replacement

Common devices storing company data

Guardian’s packing and secure logistics services

Ask about our flexible, secure lockbox program options

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