Disposing of IT assets is an exercise that is fraught with risks for the unwary. No longer is it feasible to simply donate equipment to even a local charity without first taking great care to follow best practice and ensure that there are zero repercussions for the donating organisation.
It is a proven fact that consumers will choose not to do business with a company that has been responsible for leakage of personal or credit card data. It pays, therefore, to perform appropriate due diligence on your IT asset disposal process and partners. Only the most professional of asset disposal experts can fully guarantee to mitigate all potential risks – anything else can leave your company wide open.
1. Reputational Damage
With the best of intentions, a company can very easily fall foul of the law in several regards. Media outlets pounce on such occurrences to paint lurid headlines because these instances invariably fall under the heading of “human interest”. Whether the issue is data leakage resulting in the exposure of personal customer or credit card details, or highly confidential corporate information, or environmental damage when traceable assets are discovered in landfill in some third world country – the end result is damaged reputation. That invariably results in lost business. It costs your company money.
2. Compliance Breaches
Regulatory breaches are now being punished with ever increasing financial penalties. Authorities see this approach as the only way to focus the attention of C-level managers on adhering to the mandatory guidelines. The regulations have been drafted for very good reasons – to protect consumers and the environment. Corporations are somewhat notorious for tending to overlook these “soft” responsibilities without the threat of stringent penalties. Once again, it comes down to money in that careless disposal of IT assets can literally cost a company considerable sums.
3. Data Security Breaches
The biggest risk and the most common cause of the headlines referred to above is a data security breach. Whether this is caused by hackers penetrating security defences, a laptop left in a taxi accidentally or data recovered from a supposedly “wiped” device that was disposed of – the result is the same. Data that was entrusted to the secure care of your organisation has been exposed for public, and possibly criminal, consumption.
The new GDPR regulations lay down the extent of financial penalties for non-compliance based on the nature of the breach:
- Up to £10 million or 2% of annual global turnover, whichever is the greater
- Up to £20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is the greater
4. Environmental Pollution
Another common risk when disposing of IT assets is that toxic elements may end up in landfill, either here or in some third world country. Ideally, your process and due diligence should seek a solution whereby 0% ends up in landfill (the WEEE recommendation is a maximum of 16%). A professional asset disposal partner such as Absolute IT has a policy of working with waste management partners to ensure that the absolute minimum (if any at all) is sent to landfill.
Once again, reputation is on the line. Modern consumers tend be seek out eco-friendly organisations with whom to do business and shun those that have environmentally damaging practices. The better your company’s green credentials are, the safer it is from any negative consumer reaction in this regard.
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Large and medium organisations really do need to mitigate the risks from sloppy IT asset disposal practices. Professional service providers provide total protection and assurance in a way that free services simply cannot match because of the overheads involved. Let us explain how we can help you to mitigate the risks for complete peace of mind. Call today for a free consultation.