6 REASONS WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD RECONSIDER ITS E-WASTE STRATEGIES
6 REASONS WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD RECONSIDER ITS E-WASTE STRATEGIES
Is your business taking the necessary steps to dispose of its out-of-date electronics?
A company that is strategic in addressing its E-waste and IT Asset Disposition needs will alleviate unnecessary clutter and eliminate security risks, among other benefits.
Your company is likely sitting on outdated, unused technology. Old hardware takes up valuable space and could pose a legitimate security risk if it contains sensitive information.
As electronic data storage becomes more ubiquitous and technologies become more advanced, businesses must address these concerns as they come.
A business that is smart about its data destruction and electronics recycling practices will have its E-waste asset disposition needs to be met while maximizing time and cost-efficiency.
Data Breaches Are More Likely Than Ever
There is a growing recognition of the fact that out-of-use electronics pose a risk beyond the simple inconvenience of wasted office or warehouse space.
Out-of-use hard drives often maintain sensitive company, employee, and/or customer information. If an old hard drive is not comprehensively wiped, degaussed, or shredded, then a company may be at risk for a security breach.
Data breaches have become increasingly common as the business world relies more heavily on electronic data storage. In 2017, Statista’s US data breach measurements were shattered with approximately 1,579 data breaches and one-hundred seventy-nine million records exposed – and we are on track for similar numbers in 2018.
According to Forbes Magazine, a typical data breach in 2018 will cost a company $3.86M on average in the United States. There should be no reason for a business to remain vulnerable to such an unnecessary financial liability.
To eliminate security risks and financial liabilities, a company must look to employ a data destruction vendor that will take every necessary step to destroy sensitive data while complying with state and federal data security and privacy laws.
Eco-Friendly Methods Are Strictly Enforced
Environmental consciousness should always factor in a business’s decision-making progress. With the EPA ceding more environmental enforcement responsibility to individual states, it’s more important than ever to adhere to current e-waste disposal regulations here in California.
Carelessness in IT asset disposal comes with heavy risks – AT&T received a massive fine of $52M in 2014 for their illegal e-waste disposal practices, an event that was to be seen as the new standard of severity for rulebreakers inside California’s borders.
Similarly in California, Comcast was hit with a $26M penalty in 2015, and earlier this year Home Depot has levied a $28M fine for their waste disposal violations, most of which was an electronic waste.
It is both legally and ethically critical that a company maintains an environmentally responsible approach to their e-waste disposal and recycling practices. It is never worth it for a company to shortcut the IT asset distribution process for short-term convenience. Companies must choose an E-Waste vendor with a trusted record of proper disposal and recycling practices.
The storage, packaging, and transportation of outdated electronics is undoubtedly the most frustrating aspect of the IT Asset Disposition process. Often, a business’s plans to recycle or dispose of these assets are hamstrung by a host of logistical factors.
A reputable vendor will streamline the asset disposition process for your business while addressing these key factors:
- Scheduling – Once a business takes the initiative to schedule a pickup, the packaging and heavy lifting become the vendor’s responsibility
- On-Site Destruction– Outdated assets can be crushed or degaussed on-site, guaranteeing safe disposal and ensuring a vendor’s accountability
- Transportation– All E-waste and IT assets can be transported securely to a facility for the wiping and recycling processes using industry-standard equipment
- Documentation – Real-time reporting and documentation guarantee a vendor’s transparency through every step of the asset disposition process
Any business has the potential to boost the convenience and efficiency of their asset disposition in the right direction. Utilize a vendor that streamlines the E-Waste recycling and data destruction processes by handling the packaging and transportation components.
Donations Without the Hassle
Refurbished electronics will not be useful for a company with a necessity for cutting edge technology, but they can make a significant impact on those with more basic needs.
Unfortunately, making a direct donation may come with difficulties. While your company may consider the donation of out-of-date IT assets to local schools or charities as a simple win-win scenario, direct donations can come with a host of problems:
- Data Security Concerns – Organizations will be at risk for potential data breaches if their out-of-use hard drives are not comprehensively wiped before donation
- Transportation Hassle – Your company will be wholly responsible for the safe transportation of old assets
- Liability Concerns – Your company will be held liable if IT assets are responsible for damages to the donated organization
- Usability– It’s likely that your business’s donated electronics won’t perform well because they haven’t been properly refurbished and tested
- Application– It can be hard to find organizations that will put older electronics to good use
A dedicated IT Asset Disposition vendor will alleviate these concerns by handling the process of making donations – this includes the complete refurbishment and transportation of your company’s old electronics.
Local organizations have a constant need for reliable electronics to run their day-to-day operations. Choosing a vendor with a proven history of successful charitable work will ensure your old electronics are used to make a positive difference.
A business with a charitable outlook and high community involvement will stand to improve its public perception and positions itself to take less of a hit when tax season comes around.
Data Destruction Methods Are Changing
Rules and regulations of proper data destruction and asset disposal practices are strict and can be confusing to navigate.
An IT Asset Disposition vendor’s reputation rests on its ability to adapt its erasure and destruction standards as computing technology becomes more nuanced and advanced. Finding a vendor that adheres to these standards in an ever-shifting regulatory landscape is a necessity.
Regarding data sanitization, E-waste vendors must adhere to the newly enacted National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) 880-80 guideline, which supersedes the United States Department of Defense’s original DoD 5220.22 statute from 1995.
For its own sensitive data, the DoD now uses a combination of methods including wiping, degaussing, and/or physical destruction. Your business may be best suited to one or more different data destruction methods, depending on the quality of your old equipment and the sensitivity of the information that it contains:
- Data Wiping
- Overwrites data on all sectors of a hard drive or other media, destroying all previously registered information
- Requires strict adherence to both the 1995 United States DoD 5220.22 statute and NIST 800-88 guidelines of data erasure
- Hard Drive/Media Shredding
- Utilizes the smallest shred size to ensure a device is destroyed and its data is irretrievable
- Recommended if a hard drive is unable to be completely wiped
- Hard Drive/Media Degaussing
- Demagnetization of hard drives and other media neutralizes the magnetic tape and permanently erases data
- Most often used by government institutions with extremely high-security risks
A competent vendor will ensure the completion of the data destruction process by evaluating your out-of-use electronics and determining the most effective method of data erasure.
IT Asset Disposition is a delicate process that requires a vendor with high credibility and a proven track record. A mistake in any step of either the E-waste recycling or the data destruction process can potentially open up a company to a host of legal liabilities and/or security concerns.
Author: All Green Recycling