Thinking of hiring a moving company or paper shredder to decommission your IT equipment? Think again—it could put your sensitive data at risk and leave you vulnerable to legal trouble.
In 2021, almost half of all U.S. companies suffered a data breach (though experts say that figure might be even higher, as data breaches are often left undetected).
These companies are spending thousands (or even millions!) of dollars recovering from data breaches and IT asset disposition (ITAD) errors. Consider Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, for instance, who alone has paid out over $163 million in fines over the past couple of years due to lost devices and client information!
Finding a responsible ITAD partner is crucial to maintaining the safety of your company’s important data and protecting yourself from legal issues and fines. But unfortunately, many companies don’t do their due diligence to find the right partner, opting instead to rely on moving companies, paper shredding companies, or even retail stores to dispose of the IT equipment they no longer need.
Here are a few reasons why a moving company, paper shredder, or retail store isn’t the best ITAD partner for your business, and why you should partner with a certified electronics recycler like Repowered instead.
Staff Are Not Well Trained in Electronics Recycling and Data Security
While they may offer electronics recycling services, a moving company, paper shredder, or retail store (like Best Buy or Staples) is not primarily an electronics recycling company. And in most cases, they don’t have the training, equipment, or facilities needed to protect your business’ sensitive data.
The staff at these companies don’t go through the extensive data security training that the employees at certified electronics recyclers like Repowered do. Repowered’s team is well trained in electronics recycling processes, data security, and data destruction procedures, ensuring that your data is always protected.
May Not Have Proper Data Destruction Equipment
Contrary to popular belief, restoring a device to factory settings doesn’t wipe all of your data from the device. It does make the data harder to access, but a skilled and motivated data thief will still be able to find it.
That’s why you need an ITAD partner who can ensure your data is destroyed before your equipment is decommissioned and refurbished or recycled. Moving companies, paper shredding companies, and retail stores simply don’t have the equipment needed to properly destroy the data on your devices.
Not only will a certified ITAD provider like Repowered make sure your data is destroyed properly, but they’ll also provide you with documentation of the destruction process for your records.
Lack of Facility Security
Companies that don’t have electronics recycling at the core of what they do may not have the facility security needed to keep your data safe. Security features like controlled access and security cameras are vital to the safety of your sensitive information.
You need an ITAD partner with a secure facility to ensure the safety of your data until it is destroyed properly. Repowered’s facility is protected by a 24/7 monitored security system, with 80+ HD cameras placed throughout the facility.
Leaves You Vulnerable to Lawsuits
When you gather data from customers or employees during the course of your business, you are responsible for keeping that data secure. If the data is stolen, you can be subject to fines and lawsuits.
Take Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s (MSSB) example, for instance. They ran into legal issues after hiring a moving company with no data destruction experience to decommission two of their U.S. data centers in 2016. Devices containing unencrypted customer data were taken from these data centers and eventually resold online. Then in 2019, during an IT refresh project, MSSB lost track of dozens of devices that contained sensitive customer data.
These mistakes have cost MSSB hundreds of millions of dollars in fines paid to the Treasury Department, the SEC, and the customers whose personal information was lost. Their story is a lesson in how NOT to dispose of your IT assets.
Luckily, you can learn from their mistakes and make better choices for your business.
Not a Certified ITAD Partner
Is the company you’re considering for your ITAD program certified? If not, you’re better off finding one that is.
Certifications like NAID AAA and R2 show that a company has gone through a rigorous testing and inspection process to ensure they meet the highest standards for data security, employee safety, and environmental standards. Because the electronics recycling industry is largely unregulated, third-party certifications are key to ensuring these standards are upheld.
Don’t risk your data, reputation, and finances by hiring a company that isn’t certified to properly handle your IT asset disposition. Let Repowered be your ITAD partner instead. Contact us at 763.432.3117 to create your customized asset management plan today.