When organizations are ready to get rid of their old IT equipment, the data must be completely removed. If not, there is serious risk of liability issues, especially in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance. Across the board, companies are required to tightly manage any private data they collect or store until the information itself, or the device that contains it, becomes obsolete.
With IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), there are two main risk areas IT managers need to care about—data security and proper disposal of e-waste. Not only are the financial stakes high for non-compliance, but the risk of damaging a reputation could have lasting effects.
To address these risks and meet all regulatory requirements, companies must ensure secure and efficient storage, transfer, recycling and/or reselling of their used IT equipment. When the time comes, data destruction in the form of data erasure or data shredding is crucial to completely remove data from used computer equipment. Detailed reporting is also necessary to provide an audit trail that can clearly prove regulatory compliance with both data security and environmental requirements.
For companies only focusing on price, it's important to understand that proper (and legal) electronics processing and recycling comes with a cost. Selling to the highest bidder may result in equipment ending up for sale online without data properly wiped like the City of Houston found out the hard way, or data being held for ransom like Ernst & Young had to deal with. For electronics like servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices, certified electronics recyclers should be able to provide resale opportunities to help organizations reduce the total cost of ownership if equipment or components are functional.
ITAD companies and electronics recyclers or resellers should be able to help organizations ensure data destruction, data privacy and regulatory compliance, as well as capture any value from their recycled electronic equipment.
Organizations need to recognize the importance of who they choose to handle their end of life computer equipment. Independent certifications like R2 and e-stewards are essential to understanding the security programs and processing capabilities of an ITAD vendor. It's important to also conduct your own due diligence of the electronics recycler before recycling any equipment with them, including a visit to their processing location and an audit of their company.
If you are a Sioux Falls business or located in the South Dakota, North Dakota or Nebraska area, contact SEAM to learn more about our ITAD services and schedule a tour of our Sioux Falls electronics recycling facility. We provide onsite hard drive shredding with complete, transparent reporting to meet your compliance needs.