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Why Free IT Asset Disposal Services Could Cost Your Business a Fortune

by | Nov 1, 2018 | IT Security, News

IT asset disposal is an indispensable service that enables businesses to securely dispose of their end of life IT assets, without compromising any of the data held within the assets. There are companies that will offer this service for free, but in choosing a cheaper option, you often run the risk of accepting a poor quality service.

When it comes to handling the data of your clients and customers, price should be a secondary consideration in comparison to the importance of ensuring that your assets are handled securely, and that your data is destroyed in line with all relevant industry regulations.

In our latest article, we take a look at some of the crucial differences between a ‘free’ ITAD offering, and the service provided by a fully qualified IT asset disposal company.

Free Tools Can Leave Your Data Exposed

High quality, secure and robust IT data disposal costs money, particularly for the use of NCSC (The National Cyber Security Centre) approved tools such as Blancco. Blancco’s data erasure tools overwrite existing data files, rendering the original data unrecoverable. Many ‘free’ ITAD providers use free versions of erasure software, which are not nearly as reliable, and can result in your data being only partially deleted before your assets are resold or recycled.

No Chain of Custody

The Chain of Custody is a crucial part of the service provided by a professional ITAD vendor. This provides a full audit trail detailing every step in the IT asset disposal process, from transportation and destruction, through to recycling or reselling. This documentation will allow you to pinpoint what was done to each piece of IT equipment, when, and by whom.

Lack of Regulation Compliance

Ensuring full compliance with all relevant industry regulations is another crucial service provided by a dedicated ITAD vendor that you may not receive from a free provider. Failure to comply with just one of the regulations below when disposing of your IT assets could result in serious financial repercussions.

The WEEE Directive – Implemented in February 2003, the WEEE Directive ensures that the hazardous materials in electrical equipment are handled responsibly when recycled.

Environmental Protection Act 1990 – Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to dispose of litter or waste onto land or water unless authorised to do so by the law or land owner.

Landfill Regulations Act 2002 – This regulation is designed to reduce the hazardous and environmentally harmful practice of landfill disposal.

The GDPR – Under the GDPR, data processors and controllers are jointly liable for any potential data breach. Any such breach could result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global revenue.

Irresponsible Resale of IT Equipment

It is common practice in the ITAD industry to engage in the recycling or resale of end of life IT assets. When the data contained within the assets has been securely destroyed, this is a perfectly legitimate way to recoup costs and reduce unnecessary waste. However, if an ITAD provider has failed to securely destroy the data from the devices they are re-selling (by using free data erasure tools for example), then there is a very real risk that your client or customer data could find its way into the wrong hands, resulting in a data breach which could have serious financial and reputational implications for your company.

tier1 are the most accredited ITAD in the UK. Our list of accreditations goes beyond the industry standard requirements, and distinguishes us as the leading ITAD authority in the United Kingdom. Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tieer1.com to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.

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