Compared to the cost of maintaining cyber security measures and personnel, the cost of proper decommissioning of end of use assets is minimal.
Compared to the cost of a data breach and the resulting lawsuits and loss of customer confidence, the cost is infinitesimal. In 2011, healthcare provider, TRICARE was sued in eight separate privacy lawsuits after a backup tape was lost. The suits sought a combined $4.9 billion in damages. Even when courts rule in favor of the defendants in these cases, the legal costs of defense can easily run into the millions.
The good news is that remedy need not be cost intensive or time consuming. Organizations need to develop their own IT asset management plan which incorporates the retirement phase of the asset lifecycle, and implement it.