Company spending on hardware is trending up. That’s the word from a recent Spiceworks survey that analyzed emerging trends in information technology. According to the report, 44 percent of businesses expect to boost IT budgets through 2018, with 31 percent of funds allocated for new hardware.

Study Examines Emerging Trends in Information Technology

The Spiceworks study found that enterprises are spending more on desktops, laptops, servers and networking hardware. End of life (54 percent) and increased growth (53 percent) drive the bulk of these new hardware purchases. This is a marked departure from recent years, which saw both shrinking IT departments and trends toward rented resource consumption over physical investment.

But as end-user expectations increase and mobile devices become essential to business’ bottom lines, companies can’t put off hardware purchasing until it’s more convenient — spending is a requirement to stay competitive. According to Network World, double-digit growth is in the cards for hardware purchasing this year, with investment firm Morgan Stanley upgrading its view of the market from “cautious” to “attractive.”

More Endpoints, More Problems

More hardware means more endpoints and, ideally, improved corporate efficacy. It also drives increased risk since network devices, desktops and laptops leverage technology that may be susceptible to threats.

While emerging trends in information technology still include a focus on securing applications and detecting software threats, there’s also a need to securely handle and dispose of old hardware. Simply tossing or recycling old devices creates a potential attack avenue for cybercriminals. Individuals who manage to get their hands on decommissioned hardware that hasn’t been properly severed from corporate networks could initiate a breach that would seemingly originate from approved devices.

There’s also the problem of existing structure. Malicious actors with the ability and time to examine ditched devices could uncover common hardware components that are vulnerable to well-known threats and then apply this knowledge to corporate infrastructures at large.

Properly Disposing of Old Hardware

According to TechRepublic, companies “must standardize their procedures for decommissioning and disposing of old IT hardware as part of their comprehensive data security protocol.” Tossing hardware isn’t fire-and-forget — devices must be properly disconnected, wiped for critical data, and then securely recycled or disposed of in a way that prohibits reconstruction and information mining.

With IT budgets on the rise and new hardware atop the spending list, enterprises must secure devices as they’re deployed, while they’re in use and during decommission.

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