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A Secure & Responsible Guide to IT Asset Disposition (ITAD)

Blog Post
July 19, 2023

More and more companies are adopting sustainable business practices. They’re searching for new and innovative ways to dispose of their IT assets in an environmentally-friendly manner. ITAD, or IT asset disposition, involves the safe disposal of obsolete or unwanted IT equipment while allowing organizations to mitigate the risks associated with data security and regulatory compliance.

In this article, we’ll explore ITAD in depth and discuss some of the ways that businesses can dispose of their old items while minimizing their carbon footprint.

Understanding IT Asset Disposition

Learning the ins and outs of ITAD is crucial for businesses operating in the modern digital age. Here’s what to know about IT asset disposition.

What is ITAD?

ITAD stands for IT asset disposition and refers to the process by which businesses safely and sustainably dispose of their old IT equipment.

Why is ITAD Important?

The importance of ITAD lies in its capacity to mitigate security-related risks and environmental damage. Proper ITAD procedures ensure sensitive data is thoroughly erased, minimizing potential data breaches, while also adhering to e-waste regulations.

Risks of Improper ITAD

Improper ITAD leaves organizations vulnerable to major risks, including potential data breaches from un-erased data. For this reason, many businesses go to great lengths to make sure their assets are handled responsibly.

ITAD Process

To ensure the safe disposal of their IT assets, organizations should adhere to standard best practices and procedures.

Data Destruction Methods

Data destruction in ITAD commonly includes methods such as physical destruction, degaussing, and cryptographic erasure. Physical destruction entails the demolition of the device itself, while degaussing uses strong magnetic fields to disrupt the magnetic domains on the storage media, thereby erasing the data. Cryptographic erasure involves transforming data into an unreadable format.

Secure Transportation of Assets

To securely transport old IT assets for disposal, it’s best to enlist the services of a reputable ITAD provider. ITAD providers use secure packaging and facilitate safe transport. Rather than attempting to go at this process alone, it can be helpful to work with a team of professionals who have experience handling IT equipment.

Environmental Considerations

There are numerous environmental considerations to account for in the ITAD process. Businesses should prioritize proper e-waste recycling or refurbishment to prevent harmful substances found in IT assets from polluting the environment. They should also be sure to adhere to global and local environmental regulations and standards.

Risks and Liabilities of Improper IT Asset Disposal

It’s important to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls of ITAD. By understanding the risks involved in mishandled ITAD, businesses can better prepare to mitigate harm done—and prevent issues from arising in the first place.

Data Breaches and Identity Theft

Improper ITAD practices can lead to data breaches and identity theft if sensitive information contained in retired IT assets is not thoroughly erased. Devices like computers, servers, and mobile devices often hold valuable data, which is why it’s crucial to keep them out of the hands of malicious entities.

Regulatory and Legal Implications

IT equipment that is disposed of incorrectly can result in regulatory and legal repercussions. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate strict data protection measures, including the secure disposal of IT assets containing personal or sensitive data.

Environmental Impact

Perhaps unsurprisingly, improper ITAD can lead to severe environmental consequences, as electronic waste (e-waste) often contains harmful materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. If not properly disposed of, these toxic substances can leach into the soil and water, causing pollution and harming wildlife and human health.

Choosing the Right ITAD Provider

Considering the importance of ITAD in today’s tech-driven world, it’s no wonder that a growing number of businesses are turning to ITAD services for professional help. By partnering with ITAD companies, organizations can comply with relevant rules and regulations and ensure a smooth disposal process.

Evaluating Potential ITAD Providers

Before selecting an ITAD provider, businesses should carefully evaluate all of their options. They should research each company and see what specific products and/or services they offer to help simplify the ITAD process.

Certifications and Compliance

The best ITAD solutions are offered by those that possess certifications such as R2 (Responsible Recycling), e-Stewards, and ISO 14001, indicating adherence to high environmental and safety standards. They should also comply with data protection regulations like the GDPR. This demonstrates a high level of responsibility and commitment to eco-friendly disposal.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Organizations should also consider SLAs when choosing between ITAD providers, as these set clear expectations regarding the scope, quality, and timeline of services provided. Teksetra outsourcing delivers a 97% SLA performance, adhering to all aspects of SLAs and ensuring that key objectives are met as outlined.

Implementing an IT Disposal

Once businesses have chosen their ITAD partners, they can get started crafting a solid ITAD plan. Here’s what’s involved in this process.

Developing an ITAD Policy

Having a strong ITAD policy in place is key to promoting a consistent approach to the disposal of IT assets. It helps to protect data, maintain compliance with regulations, and minimize an organization’s environmental impact.

Training Employees on ITAD Best Practices

The first thing businesses should do after implementing a new ITAD policy is train employees on that policy. This helps keep everybody on the same page and helps employees to better understand their roles and responsibilities with regard to ITAD.

Establishing ITAD Procedures and Protocols

Establishing procedures and protocols is vital to establishing a structured approach to ITAD. Such procedures serve as a blueprint for the lifecycle management of IT assets, guiding their secure and efficient transition from operational use to final disposition.

Get Started With ITAD Today

The importance of ITAD is manifold, as it offers a way for businesses to dispose of their old assets while adhering to eco-friendly practices. Working with a certified ITAD provider is the best way to ensure success with this process.

Teksetra’s ITAD + E-waste management solution encompasses everything from sanitization to ITAD recycling. By partnering with Teksetra, you can sustainably clean and dispose of your devices in a way that’s both safe and sustainable.



What is IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) and Why Is It Important?

ITAD is the process of securely disposing of obsolete or unwanted IT equipment. It ensures data security and promotes environmental sustainability.

What are the Risks of Improper ITAD?

Improper ITAD poses risks such as potential data breaches, non-compliance penalties, and environmental harm.

What is Involved in the ITAD Process?

The ITAD process primarily involves inventory compilation, secure data destruction, and responsible disposal.

How Can I Ensure Secure Data Destruction During ITAD?

Secure data destruction is made possible through physical destruction, degaussing, and cryptographic erasure.

What Environmental Considerations are Involved in ITAD?

Environmental considerations include e-waste recycling and adherence to environmental regulations.

What are the Risks and Liabilities of Improper ITAD?

Along with environmental degradation, the risks of improper ITAD include data breaches and legal repercussions.

How Do I Choose the Right ITAD Provider?

Providers should be assessed based on factors like compliance standards and SLAs.

What Certifications and Compliance Should I Look For in an ITAD Provider?

Look for certifications such as e-Stewards and NAID AAA.

What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Why is it Important for ITAD?

An SLA sets clear expectations regarding the services provided. It promotes accountability, offers legal protection, and is important for establishing a relationship with the ITAD provider.

How Do I Implement an ITAD Plan for My Organization?

Businesses can create a plan by first establishing a consistent ITAD policy. They should also train employees on ITAD best practices and set forth clear expectations regarding standards and procedures.

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