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Posted Jan 30th, 2013

Today’s Blackberry 10 Launch Reminds Us That Smartphones are Data Devices Too

Today Blackberry unveiled two new smartphone models that may or may not save the company formerly known as RIM (officially rebranded today as Blackberry, NASDAQ: BBRY).

Of course, the first thing we at Securis think about is that the availability of new Blackberrys could very well mean the displacement of obsolete old Blackberrys.  And obsolete old Blackberrys, particularly in larger enterprises and government agencies, contain sensitive data and are subject to the same “end of life” asset disposal and environmental regulations as larger and more complex data-storage equipment such as servers, laptops, PCs and tablets.

The interesting and perhaps dangerous difference between smartphones such as Blackberrys and more complex IT equipment is simple: Most enterprises know that a server or hard drive has to go through a certain process upon decommissioning.  After all it is obviously a computing and data storage device.

But on the surface, an old Blackberry seems harmless and worthless–plus it can easily be tossed in your typical cubicle trashcan or left in a desk drawer; two very risky places from an environmental and data security standpoint.

The good news is that awareness of the risks and regulations surrounding smartphones have improved.  As these devices have penetrated the enterprise over the last several years, Securis has seen a rapidly expanding market for the proper tracking, destruction and recycling of these devices, most frequently among highly regulated sectors such as financial services firms, healthcare companies and government agencies.

The launch of Blackberry 10–and the possible retirement of tens of thousands of old Blackberrys or other communications devices–is a great time to remind all enterprises that smartphones are data devices presenting the same risks as other IT assets and must be treated accordingly during the end-of-life stage.

Questions about secure tracking, recycling and destruction of “end of life” IT assets?  Call us at 800-731-1909 or email us at [email protected].

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