IT Asset Disposal (ITAD): The Ultimate Guide
What is ITAD?
IT Asset Disposal is the process that involves the disposal of end of life IT assets that carry data such as hard drives, laptops and mobile phones. It is a specialised process which is commonly outsourced to a specialised and accredited ITAD services provider – who will be able to ensure the data contained on your IT assets are disposed of securely whilst ensuring the impact on the environment of this process is minimal.
Why is ITAD important?
Information Technology is very much a critical part of any successful business in today’s world. However, managing your technology presents continuous challenges and risks in terms of keeping your systems in a good working condition and ensuring security and data compliance, all within a reasonable budget. When your IT reaches its end-of-life the responsibility of data compliance does not end there, which is why it is important to dispose of your IT assets safely and securely.
What does ITAD mean for businesses?
As your business grows, so does your company data. Over the years some data may not be required anymore but it may still contain confidential and sensitive information that you wouldn’t want anybody to get hold of AND you have a responsibility to ensure it is securely destroyed. It is imperative that this data is securely and permanently destroyed in the best possible way to ensure GDPR and data compliance. If your business is found to be handling IT irresponsibly you may risk hefty penalties and fines, as well as damaging your integrity. A recent prime example of this is Heathrow’s USB stick data breach on 8th October 2018 which incurred a massive fine of £120,000. This shows the importance of data compliance for sensitive information which should have been high on Heathrow’s agenda. Efficient management of your end-of-life data is just as important – IT equipment disposal through a secure, accountable and certified process will minimise the potential risks.
Data protection is an important part of ITAD. Since May 2018, GDPR requires all businesses to take technical measures to ensure a high level of information security – this requirement does not end when the equipment is no longer in use. It is the responsibility of the business (as well as being in their best interest) to ensure that data is removed and destroyed from old equipment. There are different options to consider, depending on what assets you have and what your objectives are such as securely wiping or shredding your data.
IT Equipment Resale Value
When you decide your IT equipment is no longer in good working condition, it may well have reached it’s end-of-life but it could have some residual value. IT components can often be refurbished, reused and re-marketed – some parts are in high demand! Your ITAD vendor can advise you of the value of any old equipment and could make an offer to purchase unwanted IT. Also, it may be possible to trade-in old for new technology therefore reducing your overall costs and waste.
Asset Reporting & Tracking
Make sure your ITAD vendor provides you with a certificate of destruction for all your assets. This certification will give you peace of mind that all data has been securely destroyed to international standards. The certification and list of destroyed assets can be used against your business asset tracking to ensure all assets are accounted for and removed from financial, insurance and maintenance records.
A massive amount of a businesses IT budget is taken up by software licences and maintenance costs. When your computers reach their end-of-life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your software cannot continue to be used. It is possible for your ITAD vendor to remove and transfer this software so that it can be used again on new devices, which will in turn save you money.
Industry Standards & Certifications
When choosing your ITAD vendor, make sure they are accredited with the latest industry standards and certifications – this will give you the confidence that your equipment will be managed in a safe, secure and efficient manner.
Key areas of ITAD management
There are three key areas of ITAD, these are:
1. Computer Recycling
How to dispose of computer equipment
When your old laptops, Macs or PCs come to their end of life, it’s important to recycle it properly, which includes safely removing the personal data stored on the computer’s hard drive. The process is relatively straightforward – especially if you are replacing the equipment with new technology – your technology provider may remove and dispose of the items you want to replace. Make sure you reset your computer to its factory settings which will remove access to your files and programs that you may have added.
Be warned, however, this does not completely eradicate your data – in the wrong hands there are ways and means of extracting data from hard drives. This is where your ITAD vendor can help you ensure this does not happen; by using licenced software, data can be wiped securely to international standards. Your ITAD vendor may also be able to offer to purchase your old equipment, enabling you to trade-in old for new. This is a very cost and time effective route to managing your assets, upgrading your business IT and ensuring the necessary legal data compliance.
2. Secure Data Destruction
How to securely dispose of data
If you want to ensure data is erased from your hard drives but you want to keep the drive for further use, then the best way to securely wipe the data is by using a licenced software. This can be achieved through your ITAD vendor offering a safe, secure service which is data compliant. You will receive a certificate of data destruction for each unit. The hard drives can then be reused or resold. Your ITAD vendor may offer you a price for your end of life hard drives.
If however, the hard drives are not required for future use and they are obsolete, it may be better to physically destroy the media through a shredding machine.
3. Hard Drive Shredding
How to dispose of hard drives securely
The most effective and reliable way to dispose of hard drives securely is to put them through a hard drive shredding or media destruction machine through your ITAD vendor. If the hard drives are at the end of use, this method ensures that the data is completely unrecoverable and the waste can then be recycled. (Please don’t be tempted to use a hammer – this is not a secure method and would take a massive amount of time if you had a number of hard drives to destroy!)
This type of security shredding machinery can shred other media such as DVDs, CDs, mobile phones, magnetic tapes, blu ray and USB drives to ensure secure destruction of confidential data, quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.
The ICC Group: Your ITAD Vendor of Choice
The ICC Group, can help you manage all of your IT Assets and ensure that they are safely and securely destroyed, disposed, reused, resold or recycled. Giving you peace of mind that your company’s confidential information cannot be extracted and misused at a later date. ICC offer a reliable service with ISO and Safe Contractor accreditations and over 20 years of industry leading experience.
The ICC Group’s ITAD Services
Whether you have a trolley load of hard drives, information to wipe from disks or a department of computers to decommission, The ICC Group are at hand to manage your requirements through our high security IT asset disposal services. Have a read through our ‘IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) Services Brochure’ to find out more about how we can help and how to contact us.
Benefits of using The ICC Group’s services
- Peace of mind
- Cost effective solution
- Data protection compliant
- On-site or Off-site mobile service
- Secure & GPS tracked vehicles
- Security vetted, reliable engineers
- Certificate of destruction provided for each asset
- Potential residual value & trade-in old for new options
- ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001, ISO 20000-1, ISO 27001 & Safe Contractor accredited
- Partnered with tier-1 vendors such as HPe, Dell, Lenovo, Storagecraft and Seagate
- More than 20 years of industry leading IT services experience
ICC’s 4 step process
For each of our ITAD services it is easy to follow our 4 step process – let us manage your old assets to save you time and money: