Improperly disposing of IT assets can seriously damage your business, both financially and in terms of your reputation. It is every company’s legal responsibility to dispose of IT assets safely and securely, and those who don’t can face crippling consequences.
Reusing existing equipment
While reusing IT assets within your company is a brilliant idea that many savvy businesses are now adopting, there are risks. If you are allowing new employees access to IT assets that haven’t been professionally wiped, this poses the risk of a data breach.
If a new employee is using an IT asset without full training, they are at risk of accidentally making the company vulnerable to a hacker attack. If any data of your clients is leaked as a result of misuse or mishandling of data (even if accidental), or due to a preventable hacker attack, then your clients have cause to sue your business for breach of data.
Reselling IT assets without using a certified refurbisher and data wiping company first poses similar threats. Trying to delete or wipe a computer or laptop in-house is nowhere near as effective as employing the services of an IT asset management firm who can guarantee the security and safety of your data.
When disposing of end of life IT that you aren’t planning on re-deploying into your business, you need to draw up a strategy. Irresponsible disposal of electronics is environmentally dangerous, and is punishable by fines. Last year, US broadcasting company AT&T was fined $9.5m for failure to properly dispose of their e-waste, after sending electronic items, batteries, aerosol cans and other hazardous items to landfill, rather than to special recycling firms that specialise in handling electronics and hazardous waste.
Sending electronic waste to landfill is not only dangerous for the environment, but also for data security. Once in landfill, the original owners of the waste items have no control over what happens to the waste or who has access to it. This means that electronic items that could contain sensitive client data are made accessible to any members of the public who may be near or work on landfill sites. Even if the information on the device is deleted or wiped by the original item owners, it can still be retrieved.
Under the new GDPR, companies can be fined up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover of the previous financial year for not being compliant. Irresponsibly disposing of electronics and making your clients vulnerable to having their data leaked or stolen can count as mishandling of data and therefore result in being fined, or in being penalised by having sanctions placed on your business. While sanctions will not cost your company financially in the first instance, they will likely have a knock-on effect in terms of reputation and trust in your company.
Improper disposal of your IT assets can cost your business financially and can cost its reputation. This is why using an IT asset management company to handle your end-of-life assets if the safest option, in terms of protecting your company and protecting your clients’ data.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your business remain compliant with our secure IT disposal and redeployment services.