Certified IT Asset Disposition is the Best Guarantee of Data Security During an Equipment Upgrade
City agencies, municipalities, public and private businesses, and organizations of all varieties manage sensitive digitally recorded data including financials, employee information, and intellectual property. When it comes time to dispose of these IT assets, this information oftentimes remains on old equipment even after deletion. If this information isn’t thoroughly sanitized before this equipment is discarded, the repercussions can be vast, including legal, financial, and public image liabilities. Unfortunately, finding a company to dispose of IT assets securely, safely, and in an environmentally-friendly manner, is not always easy. Asking the right questions can help.
How Do You Know that Your IT Asset Disposition Company is Reputable?
The short answer is to check their certifications. Like many industries, the IT asset disposal and recycling industry has standards companies should, but don’t always, adhere to.
“It’s difficult to know if the company you are using is truly following through on their commitment to responsible IT asset disposition and thoroughly destroying any data or information before the releasing of that equipment,” says Palm Beach County native David Palmer, President of USA Recycling Centers LLC (USARC) in Riviera Beach, Florida. “The first way to verify the standards and reputation of any company in our industry is to check if they have reputable and recognized certifications. If they don’t, they could be putting your company at risk.”
USARC holds the following industry certifications that are awarded only to companies that operate a quality Environmental, Health, and Safety Management System to the most stringent standards, procedures, compliance and accountability:
.• R2 Certification: Company-level certification based on the “R2 Standard” as overseen by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), a non-profit organization. This high-level certification ensures responsible recycling practices for use in accredited certification programs for electronics recyclers
.• ISO 14001 – 2015: International standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system. It provides a framework that an organization can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements.
• OHSAS 18001: International standard of Health and Safety Management Systems, which certifies that an organization has control over, and knowledge of, all relevant hazards resulting from normal operations and abnormal situations, and strives to improve its performance over those hazards.
USARC’s processes are also conducted with full compliance and adherence to standards and protocols as provided by the National Security Agency (NSA) / Central Security Service (NSA/CSS), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Criminal Justice Information Services (FBI/CJIS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and the National Institute of Standards and Compliance (NIST).
According to Palmer, these standards and protocols are another good indication of how a company does business. “Identity and Intellectual Property theft and environmental damage risks are too severe to take chances in this industry. A simple check of a company’s certifications, standards, and protocols, is a great starting point in vetting a vendor and avoiding liability in an environmental incident, as well as legal and financial woes due to sensitive information leakage.”