Data Destruction: Safeguarding Your Business in the Electronic Recycling Process
E-waste is at a tipping point and businesses are increasingly being incentivized to seek more sustainable solutions for IT asset disposal. Findings from the UN Global E-waste Monitor 2020 revealed that per capita waste generation in the Americas was at 13.3 kg (29 lbs) per year, most likely skewing higher in the United States than in South America. The total quantity of e-waste generated worldwide is also rising sharply, estimated to be up 21% in the five years leading up to 2019 and most likely continuing this trend in 2023.
Furthermore, global businesses are at an ever-increasing risk of costly data breaches, many of which may originate from accessing files or credentials from unencrypted and carelessly discarded IT assets. In addition to mitigating the e-waste crisis, sound and sustainable IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) from a professional firm can help to safeguard your business by ensuring that all sensitive data on redundant IT assets is thoroughly destroyed.
Understanding Data Destruction
Big business relies on Big Data, and much of that data is held in servers in the US and internationally. Some data is often kept on corporate owned devices such as laptops, USB thumb drives, hard drives, and other forms of storage such as magnetic media, DVDs, and so on. While much of the data may be innocuous, some data such as company logins and passwords can be compromised by bad actors to cause a data breach.
Data destruction is the deliberate destruction of sensitive data (unwanted or otherwise) so that unauthorized access is rendered, for all intents and purposes, practically impossible. Methods of data destruction include physical destruction of hard drives and storage media, data wiping, degaussing, and data encryption.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Although there are plenty of rational incentives for data destruction and more sustainable e-waste recycling, there are many legal and regulatory requirements now in effect in some states in the US and in jurisdictions around the world. Many of these requirements are relatively new, arising out of the need for responsible data protection and data disposal.
One key regulation that affects everyone engaged in commercial activity in the European Union as well as anyone from outside the EU handling personally identifiable data on any resident in the EU is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Global businesses must be aware of GDPR and other relevant requirements lest they face potentially massive fines or penalties for non-compliance.
Best Practices for Data Destruction
Businesses in the US and operating internationally should put an ITAD strategy in place internally to account for the lifecycles and processes involved throughout for every IT asset. This includes creating an IT asset inventory, managing the disposal of any redundant IT assets, and policies for accountability of data destruction, such as obtaining certificates of destruction and auditable chains of custody. Collaborate closely with any ITAD providers if outsourcing these tasks.
Data Destruction Methods and Techniques
The most commonly used methods of data destruction within organizations tends to be data wiping, usually in the form of a software application that renders all data on the device irretrievable. These sorts of methods may be reasonably effective on a small-scale, but they should not be relied upon for large-scale IT asset disposition.
ITAD companies use far more robust and reliable means of efficiently processing hard drives and other storage media. These include physical crushing or punching of the hard drive, degaussing for magnetic media such as HDDs, and in some cases, disintegration.
Evaluating Electronic Recycling Service Providers
Electronics recycling is a big business, and there are many service providers popping up to meet the increased demand by other big businesses for their services. Not all electronics recyclers offer the same level of quality, however. When it comes to safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating data breaches, it is essential to choose an electronics recycler that understands the importance of ITAD and that provides secure data destruction.
The EPA recommends choosing an electronics recycler that meets high industry standards and holds accreditations with Responsible Recycling (R2) and e-Stewards. ITAD company like Wisetek hold these recognized accreditations and more, and our commitment to a Sustainable Earth and Zero Landfill Policy make us an environmentally-friendly choice for electronics recycling and ITAD.
Wisetek’s Secure Data Disposal and Data Destruction Services
Wisetek is a leading global provider of ITAD services, with secure data destruction processes and environmentally sustainable methods of disposal available to all clients. Our robust range of ITAD services are designed to offer clients peace of mind through auditable, accountable data destruction processes, alternatives to e-waste disposal such as refurbishment and remarketing, and full data security and protection.
Choose Wisetek for Responsible E-Waste Disposal & ITAD
Get in touch with us at Wisetek to learn more about our e-waste disposal and data destruction services as well as our many other ITAD services and IT solutions that add value and security to your business. Contact us at email@example.com for services in the US.
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