Digital data is invaluable to every business and is effectively secured with the application of various regulations. Maintaining this good IT Hygiene is essential as non-compliance or negligence leads to severely negative results, such as financial costs and lost trust from your customers.
We’ve observed many examples where a business’s improper IT asset disposal resulted in these and even more undesirable consequences. This is why we highly recommend our reliable and secure disposal services as an effective tool to prevent these harmful results when deciding to remove or replace your existing equipment. Read on to learn more about why you need to invest in a company that provides detailed audits for your business’s electronic devices.
Risks When Disposing of IT Assets Improperly
Improper IT asset disposal incurs serious financial implications, especially under laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Fines for GDPR non-compliance can be substantial, reaching up to £20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher. Aside from fines, let’s take a close look at the principal risks you may encounter when disposing of IT assets improperly.
A public example is the £183 million fine imposed on British Airways for a customer data breach, highlighting the significant financial consequences of inadequate data management and disposal processes. As well as these initial punitive fines, businesses face substantial remediation costs. These expenses, covering the recovery of lost data, breach investigations, security measure upgrades, and IT service recovery, can be extensive.
Lost Trust with Customers
The reputational cost will be even more relevant as the lost trust with your customers becomes impossible to regain. When your clients and customers provide you with their private information, they expect it to remain confidential. They will feel personally attacked when that data is made vulnerable with non-compliant disposal; this is why secure data erasure is a vital element of compliant IT equipment disposal.
Conduct Audits with Working IT Equipment
Even before you decide to have your data-bearing equipment repaired or disposed of, we recommend regular audits to not only assess the condition of the assets but to track the data they hold.
Procedures such as these will identify where data is stored across our IT assets, ensuring secure deletion and disposal procedures are in place. Audits also reveal outdated, unpatched, or unsecured software vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Preparing Assets for Secure Data Disposal
IT asset audits are important for compliance with GDPR and other data security regulations. GDPR has strict rules on how businesses should handle data erasure at the end of an IT asset’s service life. Our detailed audits provide the necessary evidence of compliance, showcasing our diligent efforts towards data security.
At ICT Reverse, we maintain best practices for secure erasure and data shredding, strictly follow local and international data protection regulations, and assist businesses in identifying vulnerabilities during the initial auditing phase.
What Is Involved with an Audit?
We take auditing the IT assets we receive extremely seriously, whether they are destined for repair or environmentally friendly disposal. Our audits are an examination and evaluation of all IT assets received at our AATF (approved, authorised treatment facility). It is the first step to create a benchmark for tracking these devices during the later services. This audit will cover any assets and their eventual destination, from large servers related to data centre relocation to pocket-sized business phone repair or disposal.
The first step in our process concerns the categorisation of data-bearing items. We distinguish these into non-hazardous and hazardous WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment). Each item is registered against a unique Asset Audit Report (AAR) number so that we can produce a comprehensive asset management report for your obsolete equipment. This ensures complete transparency and traceability throughout the process, fulfilling the high-security needs of your business.
The assets received then go through a meticulous cleansing procedure. This step includes the elimination of any customer identification markings that could potentially trace the equipment back to your company, underscored by our commitment to the secure handling of your data-bearing devices.
Following this, we undertake a thorough visual safety and cosmetic examination of each unit to identify any damage that might pose a safety issue. This rigorous process secures the safety of both our technicians and the environment.
Our skilled technicians then conduct an in-depth functionality diagnosis of each asset. The outcome of these primary assessments will determine the next steps. If an asset passes the functionality check, it continues with the standard process. In contrast, any asset that fails the test is diverted for recycling or destruction, conforming to our zero-landfill policy and environmental commitment.
Assigning Appropriate Disposal or Repair
The specific technical process that comes next varies widely, determined by the product type and our client’s requirements. In most scenarios, we employ a data erasure process on all data-bearing assets using Blancco software, which is internationally recognised for its high-level security and comprehensive erasure. Should any items fail this data erasure stage, they are isolated and disposed of securely using advanced crushing or shredding techniques.
The entire auditing process here is tailored to provide secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly solutions for businesses needing to dispose of or recycle their IT assets. We work diligently to protect your data, maximise your return, and minimise your environmental footprint, always putting your business needs at the forefront of what we do.
Our Role at ICT Reverse: IT Asset Audits and Disposal
Annually processing over 1.2 million assets, we collaborate closely with various industry sectors, including public sector organisations, educational establishments, mobile operators, corporate entities, distribution and resellers, and insurance providers. Get in touch with us today and experience the seamless execution of IT asset audits and disposal that only we will deliver.