Major ITAD Threats You Need to Eliminate in 2019

Posted by on December 18, 2018

It is that time of year. A time to reflect and identify opportunities to improve going forward. It has been quite a year for the IT and electronics industry which is what makes asset disposal plans one to focus on in the New Year.

Growing data security threats and increasing momentum in our progress toward a circular economy are bringing changes to many IT asset management processes.

This is backed up by the fact that almost half surveyed (47 percent) admitted they would not know who, within their company, to approach regarding disposal of old or unusable equipment.

As you close out the year and understand how you will improve for 2019, here is what to consider regarding your IT asset disposition and electronics recycling program.

The following list describes areas of focus to ensure you eradicate potential environmental and data security threats.

Lag Times

When items are replaced for any reason older equipment often becomes a low priority as you focus on ensuring functionality and setting up the infrastructure for newer items.

Often there is “lag time” where IT and electronic equipment will sit in storage until the IT manager arranges to have it refurbished, reused or disposed of.

This lag time can put you at risk of major data and compliance threats, even when sitting unused in storage. As items are stored, risk accumulates.

Over time more equipment is added, likely forgotten about and becomes further removed from your digital fortress.

Threats might include:

  • Problems during regulatory compliance audits,
  • Tracking issues when maintaining your IT asset inventory, or
  • Data threats if hard drives have not yet been wiped/erased.

Grey Market Distribution

Unfortunately many companies have had to deal with grey market disasters. The “grey market” is a term which describes a situation where a product is sold through a legal but unauthorized channel.

It is different from the “black market” because those sales involve illegal or counterfeit products, whereas the grey market deals with legitimate products being sold when they should not have been.

With global eCommerce sales expected to be more than $4.4 trillion by 2021, grey market threats are just getting started. While these threats exist it does not mean you should eliminate remarketing and resale opportunities from your IT asset disposition programs.

It just means you should review your process regularly and ensure your external service is working for you to ensure data security and maximum value recovery.

Inadequate Data Destruction

Data wiping is 99.999 percent effective, when done correctly. Quality control of this process is good practice to confirm data erasure is managed according to the standards you set.

As data breaches increase and data security regulations expand IT managers are left with no choice but to enforce stronger security measures to ensure data risks are minimized and/or removed.

As we close out the first year of the Eu’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) it is becoming more apparent that organizations have not yet implemented adequate data protection. In a recent survey it disclosed,

  • 44 percent of businesses did not wipe data from redundant IT equipment before disposal, and
  • 71 percent of businesses surveyed do not have a formal process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment.

If you are not aware of how the GDPR might affect your ITAD program, regardless of your location anywhere in the world, here is an on-demand GDPR webinar you can access now to learn more.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Violations

Since electronic devices contain hazardous waste these materials must be disposed of properly and managed according to regulatory requirements.

This ensures safety of the environment and protects employees or handlers from exposure to potentially toxic elements.

Over the past year, there were a few examples of big businesses and retailers who violated hazardous waste disposal laws, costing them millions of dollars in settlement fees.  

Businesses and organizations are being held accountable in regards to data security, environmental protection and contributing to a circular economy.

It is important to stay on top of expectations to minimize threats that can cause severe damage to your business.

Read more about these 6 ITAD tips that are too important to ignore.