Under The UK's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on May 25 2018, every business and organisation is responsible for the secure use, storage and end disposal of the personal data they collect.
Should any business suffer data loss through a data breach, whether that be through intentional misuse or via the careless disposal of their sensitive data, the business will be held accountable for the loss.
Penalties handed down by HMRC for loss of confidential data can be very severe and could result in the company collapsing, so businesses must make sure they use a method of secure data destruction to meet with their obligations under GDPR and avoid penalties.
The best way to protect your business is to use reliable third-party services that offer secure off-site IT destruction to UK businesses, such as those offered by Restore Technology.
But before we discuss when your business would need our IT destruction services, we want to explain why it is so important for you to be careful with your data and to highlight the threats that your business could face by not taking proper care to destroy the data your company holds.
Data disposal threats
Many business owners may be unaware that their offices can contain many different pieces of digital equipment with the capability to store data. These days there are far more digital devices with in-built data storage than ever before. This is why all electronic equipment and IT assets must be wiped clean of data or are securely destroyed to prevent loss of data.
The problem most businesses have is that when their IT equipment gets damaged, broken or becomes worn out, it will simply be thrown into the back of a storage cupboard to gather dust and forgotten about.
Over time a lot of businesses will accumulate a large build-up of spent IT assets and digital equipment that contain a lot of sensitive data. Instead of properly dealing with it in a sensible and controlled manner, it will be ignored until the build-up becomes too problematic to ignore any longer.
In their haste to solve the problem and get rid of their clutter, many businesses make the mistake of simply throwing out a lot of their spent equipment with their regular business waste. A lot of data has escaped businesses in this way as the staff handed the task of clearing the clutter may not realise they are throwing away data-bearing devices.
Another issue faced by businesses having a major clutter clear out is that they may also be falling foul of WEEE regulations by sending their waste electrical items to the landfill.
What is WEEE?
WEEE stands for The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (2013), which became law in the UK on 1 January 2014 and replaced the WEEE Regulations 2006.
The WEEE regulations refer to the EU Directive 2012/19/EU, which sets targets for the collection, recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment across Europe to prevent it from ending up in the landfill.
The WEEE regulations require UK businesses to:
· Design products by reducing material use and enhancing reusability and recyclability
· Ensure the waste products are treated correctly and meet recovery and recycling targets for the waste materials
· Minimise waste arising from their electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) products and promote their reuse
There are currently 14 categories of WEEE products listed with many of them being used in a business setting and therefore will need to be safely disposed of. These include IT and telecoms equipment e.g. computers, printers, calculators, phones, answering machines) and display equipment (e.g. TVs and monitors).
As with most businesses, you may have a lot of electrical office equipment that can be successfully refurbished and resold back into the circular economy. This is a great way to ensure that you comply with your WEEE responsibilities and doing this can also help you to reclaim some of the initial costs of your electronic assets.
If you have a lot of used electronic office equipment that could be refurbished and sold on, then you should take a look at Restore Technology's resale and rebate services.
Choosing your off-site IT destruction partner
Outsourcing you secure IT data destruction to a highly trusted third-party company, such as Restore Technology, is a wise decision for both the safety of your sensitive stored data and for your WEEE compliance.
Using our off-site IT destruction services is one of the most simple, straightforward and cost-effective ways for your business to handle the secure destruction of your sensitive data, including your customer data, company financial data and employee personal records.
It is important that you trust your chosen IT disposal partner and teaming up with Restore Technology will ensure that you will be fully compliant with your responsibilities under both GDPR and WEEE regulations.
Why trust Restore Technology
Restore Technology has very strict methods of control over all company procedures and processes. We are industry-leading specialists in secure data destruction and hold many awards and accreditations for our exemplary services.
By using our sustainable, eco-friendly IT destruction and recycling services you can also benefit in kind. All of our services are secure, compliant with current government requirements and environmentally friendly.
Restore Technology is committed to protecting the environment. This is why we have a zero-landfill company policy to help reduce the carbon footprint of the businesses we help by not sending any business waste to landfill.
Every scrap of material that comes through our doors is disposed of through resale and reuse or, where this is not possible, by breaking the equipment down into its constituent parts for recycling. All recyclable materials are passed onto our downstream partners who recycle them into new products.
With our Resale & Rebate service, we make sure that all data-bearing devices are completely and securely data-wiped before being refurbished and placed into the circular economy.
Where there are data-bearing devices that are unusable and beyond repair, our secure IT destruction process will completely eradicate any trace of data and render the device unusable, meaning not a scrap of data will be recoverable.
By using our secure off-site IT destruction services you will be helping to protect the environment and ensure that you comply with all environmental legislation, including the WEEE directive.
Your data management company policy
The new GPDR regulations were a huge turning point for a lot of UK businesses of all sizes. The increased public awareness of how businesses use and store their personal data and the effects of its misuse or loss through a data breach have caused a huge stir in the headlines.
The public has now spoken concerning how UK businesses can use and store their personal data, so any lapse in your data security measures and processes can see your company being slapped with a huge financial penalty for not meeting your compliance.
It's not just your customer data that you should be protecting. Any loss of your business data, including the data you hold on your employees, could suffer a crippling hit to their business's reputation and their standing in the eyes of their customers and business partners.
This is why you need to have a secure data management policy in place and that your staff are fully conversant and compliant with it. Your data management policy should spell out when and how to call in Restore Technology to securely collect and dispose of your spent data-bearing IT assets.
When should you call in Restore Technology?
How often you call Restore Technology to collect and process your redundant IT assets will depend on the size of your business and how often you replace your IT assets.
You can call us in for a one-off collection and disposal service when you need it or you can set up a regular collection schedule to avoid the unnecessary build-up of your data-bearing devices becoming a problem for you.
A good time to bring us in would be during a business relocation. This is a great time to get rid of your office clutter and will prevent the need for you to pay for the removal and relocation of a lot of unnecessary broken or obsolete IT equipment that still bears sensitive business data. At Restore Technology we can also help you with other moving-related tasks, such as audit, tagging and asset management and server data-centre moves.
How our secure off-site IT destruction services work
Restore Technology operates a nationwide service offering both on-site and off-site data destruction services. We understand that not every business in the UK has the available ground-floor space such as a car park, loading bay or a yard to allow us to bring our secure mobile data-shredding vehicles to you.
For these businesses, we offer our secure off-site IT destruction and environmentally friendly disposal services. This is where we will send out one of our Restore security teams to visit your business premises to collect your IT assets and safely transport them to our nearest destruction depot.
Your collections can be pre-arranged with us either as a one-off collection whenever you need us or as part of a regularly scheduled pick-up that helps you to better manage the build-up of your spent IT assets and reduces the risk of a data breach happening through the improper storage of your data-bearing equipment.
Fully tracked security vehicles
Unfortunately, a lot of criminal gangs fraudulently obtain data by posing as collection agents in an effort to try and trick businesses into handing over their data-bearing IT assets. By working with Restore Technology you can avoid this scenario and save your business from a data breach.
Our teams of fully vetted security guards all wear Restore uniforms and carry ID so you know it is us that arrive at your business premises to collect your IT equipment. Our collection teams drive unmarked security vehicles that are GPS tracked so you will know exactly where your IT assets are at all times during their journey from your premises to our destruction depot.
Your IT assets will be accompanied at all times with our security escort right from the moment of pick up on your business premises to the moment they arrive within our secure destruction centre compound.
Our secure off-site IT destruction facilities
Our destruction depots operate at the very highest level of security with constant CCTV monitoring, on-site security guards and coded entry systems that prevent any unauthorised entry by a criminal intent on stealing data or any member of the public accidentally wandering onto our premises.
Your data-bearing devices, such as hard drives, storage discs, memory sticks etc. will all be completely destroyed through a process of industrial shredding where all devices will be reduced to tiny fragments. Our business is BS EN15713:2009 shredding standard accredited, so you can feel confident that you will receive an off-site shredding service of the highest standard.
We then take the waste shreds and sort them out into their base materials, whether that be metal, plastic or glass etc. and the separated materials will then be passed onto our downstream partners for complete recycling, thus keeping every scrap of material out of the landfill.
Restore Technology is a professional ITAD company, which means we will dispose of your IT waste carefully and in accordance with current data protection laws regarding any stored data that may still be present on your IT assets.
Services offered by Restore Technology include:
· Data destruction – certified data erasure and/or shredding for all forms of storage media.
· Technical refurbishing, upgrading or harvesting of asset devices and components.
· Reselling or redeployment of retired equipment to reduce or recover asset costs.
· Secure logistics – Collections and deployments.
· Downstream auditing, tracking and reporting to provide full legal and data accountability.
· WEEE regulated recycling of obsolete electrical assets at a fully audited and certified de-processing facility to collect raw materials that can be reused for manufacturing.
· GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) compliance and practices.
You can find out more about our secure off-site IT destruction services and get a quote online, or you can contact us to discuss your needs with one of our friendly team members who will be willing to answer any questions you may have.