E-waste data breach

 

Your company has a storage room full of old electronic devices and wants to get rid of them? Recycling is obviously the right way to go. When we think of IT equipment, sometimes we tend to forget about all the data it contains. Or we think we erased it all… But when electronics reach their end-of-life phase, your company should seriously consider the most secure ways to protect sensitive and confidential data.

 

Only professionals can make data go away

 

“It is difficult to be certain that a chunk of digital information is ever completely deleted. Files can be recovered from hard drives long after they’ve been erased, restored from backup tapes that no one knew existed, or plucked from network relay machines or caching servers,” David H. Holtzman wrote, in Privacy Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy.

Data Breach 2015

 

According to a report, almost 2 million of data records were stolen in 2015. 77% of which occurred in North America.

Keep in mind that if it happened to them, it might happen to you!

So it is crucial to protect your data stored in your technology from the first day to the last. It is even more important, as data thefts cause a financial loss. According to CreditUnionTimes, “Every record compromised in a data breach ends up costing almost $1,000 — and that’s probably on the low end.”

 

Read more: Data Breach Costs – See How Bad It Can Get

 

4 ways to prevent e-waste privacy leaks

 

The most targeted sectors for data thefts are health care and financial services. But everybody can be the victim of breaches. So when it’s time to get rid of end-of-life IT equipment, make sure you follow a few useful steps:

  1. Partner with a trustworthy and reputable data-destruction company

Many recyclers offer data-destruction services, but that doesn’t mean they do it thoroughly. Make sure the company you chose is R:2 certified and has clean records of data destruction. Certified recyclers are likely to have certain processes in place to ensure that your data is safe and secure from the time it’s collected until the time it’s shredded and discarded.

  1. Follow up with your recycler

Make sure that the data-destruction company you’re working with gives you regular updates about the shredding of your data. The more proof you have that your data has been thoroughly destroyed, the better. Some companies even video tape the destruction process.

  1. Follow the law

Some sectors have specific rules regarding data security. For instance, it is the case for the health care sector. Laws like HIPAA are the main sources of breach-defining (and prohibitory) language for companies handling sensitive information.

  1. Have a data policy

Most companies protect their data with encryption. Using scanning technologies can also help identify weaknesses in your system or network. Obviously, don’t forget to update your anti-virus software and firewall. And make sure that all managers are trained and know how to handle confidential data.
Even though those solutions seem expensive, a data breach could cost your company even more.

 


At ICT, we’re all for anything that keeps electronics out of landfills. That’s why we tailor our electronics recycling solutions to fit each company’s unique needs.
At ICT, transparency is key. Every technological device is processed by R2 certified staff in the ICT facility in the Boston area. ICT knows how important trust is and values its relationships with its customers. ICT cares about preserving our planet and helps companies all over the country to recycle E-Waste and protect their data.

Author Bio: Audrey Adam is the marketing manager at ICT. She has a background in journalism and blog writing.

HeadshotSources: 

Electronic Recyclers International
Privacy Lost: How Technology is Endangering Your Privacy
Gemalto

Photo credits: Damaged Hard Disk Drive, Wikimedia; Fiber-optic communication, Wikipedia. Some Rights Reserved, Creative Commons License.

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