Skip to main content

Poor hardware disposal practices posing a risk to data security

data protection
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wright Studio)

Many business leaders aren't paying much attention to the way they dispose of old and obsolete hardware, opening their organizations up to possible data breaches.

This is according to a new report from DSA Connect, a company that specializes in the disposal of hardware and proper deletion of residual files.

Of the 1,029 people polled for the report, a fifth said their employer disposed of various IT hardware over the last 12 months. However, less than half (40 percent) thought this hardware did not contain confidential data when it was disposed of.

A quarter said the hardware was sold, without it first being reviewed for sensitive information, a tenth said the hardware was simply thrown away, while eight percent said it was physically destroyed. Just four in ten (42 percent) said they were certain the hardware went to a professional disposal company to ensure sensitive data was deleted in full.

“Our findings cast great doubt on how well this hardware is disposed of, and whether the data held on it has been properly erased,” said Harry Benham, Chairman of DSA Connect.

“Most tech hardware – including printers and fax machines – will have confidential data on them that needs to be wiped, but many employers are not aware of this.”