Cyber attacks and identity theft are so common that many newsreaders and businesses become desensitized to the news of the latest hack. In fact, in 2007 a University of Maryland study by the Clark School of Engineering found that hackers attack every 39 seconds, and hackers have only become more efficient and organized. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there were 236 breaches of healthcare-related organizations that each affected at least 500 individuals in just the first six months of 2020.
With such sophisticated attackers dedicated to finding our private information despite the firewalls and other security protections we put in place, it can seem futile to try and fight back. If you feel this way, you’re not alone: approximately 76% of polled Americans in 2018 believed it was “inevitable” that their identity would be stolen via cyberattack, though less than 50% instituted protective measures.
But there is hope in an often-overlooked part of data security: disposal of old technology. Perhaps because there is an emphasis on software security protections – encryption, firewalls, etc. – businesses have forgotten about the dangers that careless disposal of retired technology presents, and cyber attackers are taking advantage.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Wall of Shame, a database that records “breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more individuals”, the amount of breaches that occur because old technology was improperly disposed has increased exponentially.
In just the first six months of 2020, breaches due to improper disposal have increased fivefold over 2019, and tenfold from 2018.
Avoid the Wall of Shame and protect company data by ensuring that technology disposal is a valued part of your data security strategy. When you have laptops, servers, laboratory equipment, or other technology that you wish to retire or discard, be sure to contract with an e-waste recycler certified by R2, the premiere international standard for best practices in electronics recycling developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state agency regulators, and electronics recyclers.
As a facility certified to the R2 International Best Practices Standard, give IT get IT offers the following protections to its clients:
Visit giveitgetit.org/give-it/recycle-it to learn more and avoid the Wall of Shame. While you browse, be sure to check out our Technology Donor Guide to understand where your retired technology goes after it has been thoroughly sanitized. Not only does give IT. get IT increase data security and compliance of its clients, but it also minimizes their environmental footprint and maximizes their community impact. We help you go from the Wall of Shame to the Hall of Fame.