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Tech waste disposal: It’s all about the money

Tech waste disposal: It’s all about the money

Nov 5, 2015

Why would any business neglect the important task of securely disposing of its obsolete technology? A recent survey identified cost as the main reason for not having adopted secure IT asset disposition best practices.

Xperien CEO Wale Arewa says cost is a major stumbling block when trying to get the job done correctly. “Consider the cost of haphazard disposal, no IT manager wants to add a recurring asset-disposition line item to the budget. But it’s essential and after all, your technology holds all kinds of proprietary company data, as well as confidential customer and employee information.”

Data breaches are hard enough to control within the four walls of any organisation, but when they toss old computers in the trash or ‘erase’ the hard drive of old laptops, they could be releasing confidential data into the wild. It’s an unnecessary level of risk for any business.

One needs to consider regulatory compliance and the protection of company information. IT disposal has legislative requirements, compliance to Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (PoPI 2013), the National Environmental Waste Management Act 2008 (NEMWA 2008) and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA).

Clearly defining procedures with an audit trail will mitigate the risk data of data getting into the wrong hands. Implementing secure logistics, onsite shredding, security vetting staff periodically and usage of strong boxes will give executives a degree of control and has close as possible to do a DIY destruction process. No procedure is fool proof, especially if the perpetrators are proactively looking for a loop hole.

When viewed through the lens of risk management, it’s clear that the cost of an avoidant, catch-as-catch-can approach could ultimately cost more by the end of the year than a solid, secure IT-asset disposition program would.

Arewa says customers can offset the cost of a secure IT asset-disposition program by realising its potential savings. “How ? By retiring your technology assets wisely. Find yourself a third-party specialist with deep experience in secure IT asset disposition.”

“This trusted partner can help you find the metrics to convey a secure-asset disposition plan’s ROI to budget-minded superiors. And once the job is under way, your partner will provide complete documentation of the disposal process. You’ll rest assured that security regulations are being met,” he concludes.

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