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The combination of an increasingly mobile workforce and rapid technology improvements means organizations must work harder than ever to keep their employees equipped with the newest hardware and devices. This situation leads to a near-constant upgrade cycle — and, perhaps even more troubling, forces companies to contend with a large surplus of old and outdated equipment.
Commonly referred to as electronic waste (e-waste), these unneeded laptops, servers, smartphones, storage media, and other items illustrate the importance of a comprehensive media and IT asset disposition program. However, to be effective, these programs must consider far more than the simple disposal of unwanted IT equipment. They must include three components: security, visibility, and environmental sustainability.
Hard drives and other electronic media must be sanitized prior to disposal. If it’s not, you can’t be certain that your data is not susceptible to theft or accidental disclosure. And in order to comply with government regulations and corporate sustainability initiatives, the final disposition must be performed with the environment in mind. A lapse in either area could lead to fines, penalties, and damage to your organization’s reputation.
It is for these reasons that companies turn to external providers to help them dispose of aging, obsolete, or decommissioned IT equipment in a secure, environmentally conscious way.
Use this Buyer’s Guide and accompanying checklist to assess your requirements and evaluate your current and potential new vendors. Determine where your vendors sit in terms of the three core aspects of a comprehensive media and IT asset disposition program:
- media and hard drive destruction
- e-waste recycling
- IT asset remarketing
MEDIA AND HARD DRIVE DESTRUCTION
Tapes that are no longer needed. Smartphones that have reached end-of-life. Obsolete storage devices. Laptops that are being replaced. Copiers that are exchanged for newer technologies. These old IT assets have one thing in common: they all contain confidential data that must be protected during the destruction and remarketing processes. And they’re taking up space in your facilities right now.
Organizations need a consistent, well-defined process— complemented by proven, secure procedures—for destroying outdated or unwanted IT equipment. Businesses could find themselves at risk of inadvertent disclosure of secure information. Such disclosure could lead to resulting fines, sanctions, or a damaged reputation if they choose an untrustworthy provider.
The best media and IT asset disposition programs should go beyond the simple destruction of anything that is no longer needed. They must also address, and go to great lengths to mitigate, the impact of the destruction process on the environment.
Driven by government regulations and internal initiatives, organizations are sharpening their focus on how they manage e-waste. They realize that sustainable disposal practices play an increasingly critical role in their ability to support environmental stewardship and uphold compliance obligations.
It’s important to work with a media and IT asset disposition vendor that makes security and the environment top priorities. Be sure to ask potential providers the following about their environmental practices:
- Will you destroy the data on my assets prior to recycling them?
- Can you de-manufacture my e-waste into its component parts and recycle each piece in the proper manner?
- Are you able to confirm for me that my e-waste will never be exported, incinerated, or sent to a landfill?
- Do the same security and chain-of-custody measures you employ during the media and IT asset destruction process extend to e-waste recycling?
- Does your recycling program comply with the e-Stewards Standard?
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
With e-waste growing and data security concerns remaining top of mind, an approach to media and IT asset disposition that is simply “good enough” may leave gaps that create the potential for breaches and accidental disclosures.
Iron Mountain is committed to helping you do better through an optimal, consistent, and best practice approach to destroying, recycling, and remarketing end-of-life IT assets.