Device Renewal Forum details data security best practices

Device Renewal Forum details data security best practices

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 22, 2013

Nearly 1.7 billion wireless devices are produced each year, but with most of them on a 12-18 month asset turnover cycle, they are posing a significant data security and end-of-life management challenge, according to the Device Renewal Forum.

The DRF, which earlier this week outlined the scale of the security issue in an open webinar, is a coalition of wireless carriers, e-scrap recycling firms and telecommunication infrastructure providers organized around creating a common set of standards and practices to encourage mobile device refurbishment and resale.

"This is a major problem, but it's also an opportunity for the wireless industry to come together for device renewal," DRF certification group director Asif Hamidullah said during the webinar.

The webinar outlined information on the steps IT asset management vendors need to take to properly manage mobile devices and included a detailed discussion on data security best practices.

"Simple factory data resets are not enough – even for encrypted devices running iOS 2.x or Android 4.x," explained Blancco's national product manager Brandon Traffanstedt. "What happens if there is user error? What happens if the operator isn't familiar with that particular device and misses a crucial step? The fact is that not only is a factory data reset more error prone than a data sanitization solution, it doesn't generate a report, which potentially opens you up for liability concerns. A good report that erasure was performed provides value to the operator."

The webinar also went into detail on ideal flows of materials through a device management, data sanitization and remarketing stream, identifying key areas where audits and verification can take place. Such processes carry two goals, according to those on the call. The first is to ensure that consumers feel confident their old devices will be managed responsibly, and the second is making used devices more attractive to consumers.

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