Data Destruction: Safeguarding Your Business in the Electronic Recycling Process
The global e-waste crisis is at a tipping point and any resolution towards mitigating e-waste disposal must involve a concerted effort by private individuals, government agencies, and perhaps most importantly, global businesses. Simply given the scale of e-waste generated by businesses, there is an added emphasis on responsible e-waste disposal for businesses not only to mitigate environmental impact but also to maintain secure data disposal and compliance with data protection regulations.
This blog post will examine the risks of improper data destruction and the importance of consulting with an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) company for secure data destruction services as well as methods of electronic waste management and secure data destruction methods.
Understanding Data Destruction
Modern businesses rely on massive quantities of data, variously held in servers as well as on corporate devices such as hard drives, laptops, flash media, and magnetic storage. Data destruction refers to the deliberate destruction of unwanted or otherwise sensitive data in order to render unauthorised access practically impossible.
The most common methods of data destruction amongst organisations include physical destruction such as punching or crushing, data wiping using software applications, degaussing of magnetic media and HDD hard drives, and encryption of sensitive data prior to hard drive destruction.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Not only is secure data destruction essential for the protection of the organisation from unauthorised access but it is also required in order to remain compliant with data disposal and data protection laws and regulations now common in many jurisdictions.
While these laws and regulations vary from one jurisdiction to another, some of the most relevant for organisations operating in the EU and UK are GDPR and GDPR UK. The consequences of non-compliance can be severe, including fines of up to €10 million or 2% of global annual turnover (or even higher for egregious cases).
In terms of secure data destruction, GDPR security of processing outlines how organisations must handle the processing of redundant IT assets.
Best Practices for Data Destruction
Every organisation should have a strategy in place outlining the various stages of IT asset disposal, including a robust data destruction policy and an IT asset inventory or register of all corporate devices containing sensitive data.
Whether or not the data destruction and/or IT assets disposal is managed internally or outsourced to a reputable ITAD provider, the organisation should have procedures in place to account for responsible e-waste disposal, such as establishing chain of custody procedures, obtaining certificates of data destruction or video evidence.
When choosing an ITAD provider, ensure that they offer certified recycling of e-waste and hold relevant certifications. Wisetek is committed to reducing e-waste through initiatives such as Sustainable Earth and our environmental policy.
Data Destruction Methods and Techniques
The method of data destruction can vary significantly depending on the type of storage media, level of data security required, and cost-efficiency.
Some of the most commonly used techniques of data destruction include physical data destruction, data erasure, degaussing, and encryption and key management. Each method has advantages and disadvantages and some methods may not offer as much reliability and assurance of complete data destruction as others. Consequently, organisations should carefully consider these various data destruction methods and ensure that they are compliant with relevant laws and regulations for data protection.
Evaluating Electronic Recycling Service Providers
Organisations that dispose of large volumes of e-waste must consider their choice of electronic recycling service provider. First and foremost, the electronic recycler must be certified and trustworthy. Make sure that key stakeholders within your organisation contact the electronic recycling provider to request further information on their data destruction practices.
Many traditional e-waste recyclers do not make efforts to destroy sensitive data, which could pose a vulnerability to the organisation. A dedicated ITAD provider, on the other hand, will ensure that any sensitive data is thoroughly destroyed on any processed IT assets.
When working with an ITAD company, it is likewise essential to enquire about their data destruction practices as well as their auditing and verification processes, such as the provision of certificates of data destruction and full chain of custody procedures.
Wisetek’s Secure Data Disposal and Data Destruction Services
Wisetek is a leading provider of professional IT Asset Disposition services to organisations around the world. We provide our valued clients with fully secure, auditable ITAD services and processes tailored to meet the needs of our individual clients’ needs.
The certified and thorough e-waste disposal processes include electronics recycling, device refurbishment and remarketing, and a commitment to a Zero Landfill Policy in order to improve environmental sustainability.
Choose Wisetek for Responsible E-Waste Disposal & ITAD
Wisetek provides reliable and secure ITAD services, including responsible e-waste disposal for businesses around the world. Contact us at email@example.com for services in Ireland and continental Europe, or Wisetek UK for services in the UK at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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