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Home » Resources » Why Smartphone Erasure is Essential for the Mobile Reseller Market
For warehouses and enterprises dealing with the sanitization and onward sale of unwanted devices for resale, security and efficiency of device processing are two core pain points; mobile device erasure is essential.
Vivian is a career writer and editor, having covered technology-related topics for government and B2B organizations since before LinkedIn and the iPhone. As Blancco’s communications and content manager, she supports the development of thought-leadership-based copy for web, social media, and other Blancco communication channels.
With the price of new smartphones reaching fever-pitch, many consumers are turning to used devices to address their needs. In fact, the second-hand mobile market is projected to be worth circa $65 billion in 2024, according to IDC. For warehouses and enterprises dealing with the sanitization and onward sale of unwanted devices for resale, security and efficiency of processing are two core pain points; mobile device erasure is essential.
But why is data erasure essential in the mobile reseller market? When devices are recycled or resold, legacy data lives on in the device. This means sensitive data, including anything from social media passwords to social security numbers, could still be accessed by the device’s next owner if the device is not wiped properly. As you would expect, this poses a great security risk to the original owner, especially if the device is being recycled for a business and contains sensitive customer data. This situation could lead to more serious legal repercussions.
Mobile devices for business use, such as the work smartphones many of us are issued by our employer, or the BYOD devices we use to access sensitive corporate information, pose a great threat to cyber security. It is these endpoint devices, along with laptops and other company-issued devices, that are a business’s weakest link in data protection. Most businesses, unsurprisingly, choose to redistribute used devices to newer employees once their original owners depart the company or no longer have use for the device, and this handover can present a security risk.
As you can probably imagine, when a smartphone is used for company business, sensitive data is stored on the device. For example, if a sales representative is accessing his/her email account, or private documents containing customer data, on his/her device, this data remains on the device until it is securely wiped or erased. When said device is passed into the care of another employee, perhaps from the marketing department, without proper sanitization and data erasure, that person is now privy to sensitive customer records. What’s then stopping that person from distributing that information, causing a data breach? It may seem unlikely, but companies must take steps to ensure it’s not a risk.
The risk associated with smartphone redistribution within a business is positively minute compared to the risk those devices pose if resold to the public. Naturally, there will be instances where businesses no longer need their legacy devices, and it makes smart business sense to sell these on to an external reseller. In this case, however, the above risk of a data breach increases exponentially, as rather than an internal member of staff receiving sensitive data, someone outside of the business may have access. This is completely disastrous for all businesses as they are legally bound to protect customer data, and so secure data erasure must be verified when company smartphones move out of the business for redistribution.
The risk associated with smartphone redistribution within a business is positively minute compared to the risk those devices pose if resold to the public.
We’ve established why it’s so important to have a data erasure policy for your company smartphones. Let’s take a closer look at that reseller market, and the way these businesses must protect against data breaches.
The reseller market is huge, and as such, is very competitive. Providing a secure, trustworthy and compliant data erasure service to customers is an essential part of any reseller business, and verifying and certifying this erasure is the best way to ensure customers are satisfied. Data security is no laughing matter for consumers and businesses around the world. Data breaches are increasing year on year at an alarming rate., and consumers are concerned. By providing a service which accurately diagnoses any device issues and securely erases all content before resale, your business is in standing to resolve any concerns.
Secure data erasure is not, however, as simple as performing a factory reset in many situations. And for mobile resellers, mobile data erasure is vital to devices running older software.
The only way to erase data on devices running legacy software is to conduct a secure erasure with software-based overwriting.
Blancco’s Mobile Diagnostics & Erasure software enables your organization to permanently erase mobile data from smartphones and tablets running iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry operating systems. This data is certified as irretrievable and completely erased with a tamper-proof Certificate of Erasure, allowing for the confident resale of the smartphone devices without the worry of potential security issues.
Find out more, and get your free trial today.
Originally published in 2018, this post was lightly modified July 2021.