Is ITAD a Weak Link in Data Security?

Is ITAD a Weak Link in Data Security?

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Is ITAD a Weak Link in Data Security?

Let’s face it, the amount of data currently being created on a day to day basis isn’t slowing down anytime in the near future.

With the increase in data comes newer, faster equipment with even more vast amounts of storage capacity.

Not only does that create a problem of what to do with the old assets, but more importantly how to keep them secure in the process.

A recent report from Experian revealed that nearly thirty percent of organizations don’t have plans in place to deal with data security threats.

You heard that right. According to their research that’s almost one third of businesses!

With cyber security threats from ransomware attacks to hard drives being sold online that still contain left behind data, how can any business not comprehend the risk that poorly managed data creates?

In more recent times, we’ve seen cyber security being prioritized as an area of great investment; especially with a majority of new businesses and startups in the data hosting sector.  

But ponder for a moment the amount of retired IT assets that end up in piles of scrap as new products are released on a continuous basis.

Whether it be an entire machine, such as laptops, desktops, and networking switches or individual components like SSDs, HDDs, memory, or tape cartridges, any small to mid-sized business produces a significant amount of physical data assets that need to be securely destroyed on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, end of life asset management and the secure destruction of data assets is often unnoticed.

An insufficient amount of businesses can guarantee or show proof that every measure possible was taken to prevent a data breach. 

Too few organizations can confidently state that all sensitive data was destroyed in a secure, accountable and socially responsible way.

When the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into legislature in May 2018, businesses began facing potential financial penalties if they didn’t comply with the data destruction guidelines.

 

data center energy efficiency

An organization that deal with or governs sensitive data should have an obligation to teach their staff about GDPR requirements and responsibilities. 

In order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses should also be making an effort to transform employee habbits when it comes to data asset destruction.

However, this can be a costly and timely process. Processes and policies in regards to asset and data disposition need to be communicated clearly to staff, resulting in the gradual education and behavioral change.

The decisions any organization has to make when choosing on an ITAD vendor are going depend on the size of the company and its equipment inventory.

Nevertheless, a business can adopt its own plan and strategy to fit its individual ITAD requirements, but the most important thing that must remain is taking an active part in the security of critical data.

Trusting the help of a reputable ITAD vendor makes a huge difference. There are countless security measures that a business may not think to take into account. 

A professional ITAD company will to ensure your data is properly secure from start to finish.

Since 1965, we’ve been in the business of helping organizations with all of their IT asset needs. 

With over 130 years combined industry experience, our equipment experts can assist in offloading old or retired hardware fast, easy, and even more importantly SECURELY.

When considering selling surplus IT equipment, visit one of our pages; We Buy Used IT EquipmentWe Buy Used MemoryWe Buy Used Hard Drives, We Buy Used Cisco, or We Buy Used Tape to get the highest market value and the greatest return on investment. 

Contact us today for a free quote and see why we’ve been trusted by businesses both large and small for over half a century.

ASCDI podcast

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ASCDI Podcast: Meet DTC Computer Supplies, a company dedicated to the secondary market

New to the AscdiNatd, DTC Computer Supplies is a family owned company specializing in buying and selling IT equipment that offers a deep bench of experience in the industry, and especially in data storage products. In this podcast, Norm Hutton, Wholesale Purchasing and Sales with DTC, gives us a look at the new ASCDI member. Hutton discusses how DTC offers many services including quantity discounts, same day shipping, blind and double blind drop shipments, in-house labeling and initialization, free EDP Tri-Optic barcode labels with any tape purchase and a deep inventory of products. We learn about DTC’s exclusive Phoenix Rejuvenation Process. Hutton describes DTC’s used tape and IT equipment buyback programs.

Data Center Energy Efficiency

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Due to today’s constant changes and technological advances, the amount of data being created continues to grow at a rapid rate. More data being generated, translates into more robust data storage centers. Regardless of how long you’ve been using data centers for your business growth and storage needs, there is always room for improvement.

Enhancing the energy efficiency of your data center is just another important component to ensuring longevity, success, and continual growth of your business.

More often than not, data center energy efficiency boils down to two simple things:

1)  managing the amount of power being consumed by the equipment

2) eliminating tasks and physical properties that hinder optimization

Optimize “IT”

Energy usage is probably the highest annual expense for today’s data center managers, and it will only continue to increase in the future.

When examining a data center’s energy usage, it’s usually seen as a whole building consumption, rather than individual equipment.

In spite of this, there are still valuable steps that IT authorities or data center managers should practice to make certain that their equipment constantly operates at a more energy efficient level.

Start by decreasing the amount of unnecessary power going into IT equipment by checking the workloads of all operating assets.

Ask questions like:

“Is there any older equipment that can be retired?”

“Is there old data that can be backed up elsewhere or at an off-site location?”

“Can a bulk of my data be stored via cloud?”

“Are there other operations that can be carried out remotely?”

 “Are there systems or workloads that can be combined?”

Whatever steps are taken in this manner, make sure that any efficiency checks don’t interfere with security. Data security should always be the number one priority.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Can you think of the last time someone performed a thorough equipment inspection of your data center? Has it been a while? Take a second and have a peak at how many servers are powered on, yet performing an insignificant task.

Hopefully your answer is none. An ideal data center will have all machines operating at the highest efficiency with business-critical missions. However, that’s not always the case.

If you have data center equipment that’s ready to be retired, then now is the time to look into an equipment buyback program. Let’s dispose of those old hard drives, servers, and other old equipment that’s collecting dust; while consuming energy and costing your company money.

If you’re already in the process of disposing of your retired equipment, it might be the perfect time for an upgrade. Usually as technology advances, it also reduces power consumption thus increasing data center energy efficiency.

Replacing older equipment with newer upgraded equipment can be a major difference in a data center’s energy consumption, saving your business thousands of dollars in the long run.

data center energy efficiency

Data Center Facility Inspection

Not only can older data center equipment increase operating costs, but the facilities with which the data center is located can make a difference as well. The building’s construction, along with where it’s located can play a big role in power consumption and annual costs.

Courtesy:BobLandstrom.com

Older construction buildings not only increase liabilities in the event of a disaster, but are often not a great fit for modern technology. As opposed to a newly built facility, an older data center housing will cost more to maintain consistent room temperatures and may also be subject to leaky roofs or shaky foundations.

As cloud migration and the move to more virtually-based data continues to expand, it’s very possible that the data centers of yesterday are greatly overbuilt for any modern needs.

In such a situation, it may very well be time for a total data center decommission. An entirely new building may appear unnerving at first, particularly with the upfront expenses. Nonetheless a general downsize will make certain your data center isn’t consuming more power than it needs to.

Prime Real Estate

Data center operational efficiency doesn’t always refer to just energy consumption alone. The physical location of a data center facility may also have a direct correlation to the operating costs involved.  

For example, a data center facility in New York City or Silicon Valley is going to cost significantly more than the same sized facility in Boise, Idaho. When taking location into mind, always take into consideration who your data center is serving.

Many data centers today have their facilities on the outskirts of major metropolitan cities.  If it’s not absolutely necessary for you to operate near major metropolitan areas or more expensive markets, then take advantage of the opportunity to move to a less expensive area.

Keep “IT” Cool

It’s no secret to data center managers that powering the IT equipment is only fifty percent of the equation. The other half of the problem is sourcing the power to keep the constantly running equipment cool.

Similar to all of the mission-critical equipment that’s operating 24/7/365, there is wastefulness that can be tackled to ensure cooling systems and operations aren’t consuming an unnecessary amount of power.

The simplest way for any data center to improve the efficiency of its coolers is to install economizers. The overall effectiveness of the economizers will depend on the local climate your data center facility is located in. Yet another reason to consider location.

Courtesy: energystar.gov

What is an economizer? Economizers are machines used to regulate indoor to outdoor temperatures.  According to the United States Department of Energy, an economizer could be anything from outside air refrigeration systems to a rooftop ventilation system used to cool a room. If the outside temperature is slightly cooler than inside the data center, then economizers are a great option to improve cooling efficiencies.

Additionally, take into account the current standard of air conditioning practices and equipment in your data center. Making sure the server hardware and other IT equipment remains cool enough to operate is extremely important.

Now make sure you don’t overdo it too. There are times when data centers can be kept too cool. Fortunately, most newer servers today have built-in systems to stay cool, and do not need to be kept as cool as older models. In this case, the data center’s HVAC can be occasionally turned off as temperatures are monitored more closely by the servers themselves.

Data Center Energy Efficiency

If a majority of your data center’s energy costs are directed towards cooling, then it might be time to upgrade the cooling equipment. Possibly the air conditioning unit in the entire building needs repaired or replaced.

Another great energy saver is to house any data center equipment generating too much heat using isolation structures. These complex isolation structures can guide the heat entirely out of the data center to heat other parts of the building as necessary.

Other modern cooling and venting systems can help data center manager’s improve operating efficiency and lower any consumption costs as well.

Maybe consider installing vented floor tiles to improve overall airflow, or installing chillers that will absorb and transfer heat between physical systems. Anything to help improve the general day-to-day maintenance of your data center will save money in the long run.

Courtesy: environmental leader

No two data centers are exactly alike and every situation is unique. Nevertheless, most IT managers are facing the same physical obstacles in regards to improving energy consumption and overall data center energy efficiency.

The best thing to do is start by conducting a thorough equipment inventory check and look at your current systems.  Slowly branch out from there in order to isolate and eradicate areas of deficiency.

Finally, if you find that the major efficiency improvements can only occur with an upgrade or complete face-lift to your data center, you may need a full-on data center take out

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

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face off

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

In September 2010, Virgin Blue airline’s check-in and online booking systems went down for a period of 11 days, affecting around 50,000 passengers and 400 flights. Ultimately the downtime ended up costing the company over $20 million. So, what is the true cost of downtime you ask? Studies have shown that cost of partial data storage backup outages cost an average of $5600 per minute or $300 thousand dollars per hour! Depending on the industry, any single downtime can run into the millions of dollars of lost revenue. Just ask Virgin Blue.

Most businesses have (or should have) plans in place for emergency outages. Data backup procedures are a critical part of these emergency downtime plans. However, as the number of possible backup options multiplies with the introduction of new technologies it can be difficult to ensure you made the correct data backup decision.

Whether companies are looking to upgrade and retire aging infrastructure or are just preparing for the future, an assessment of options is needed. Welcome to the data storage face off- tape vs. disk vs. cloud backup.

Data Tape Storage Backuptape data storage

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, tape was the main way to store any backup data. Since then, it has evolved and grown with changes in technology and growing infrastructures for more than forty years. By deciding to implement or continue using tape will leave your organization with very few infrastructure improvements.

Tape is also the most affordable data storage option due to minimal infrastructure enhancements and the cost of tape itself. Usually, tape is an inexpensive alternative to both disk and cloud storage options; however, its dependent on the total amount and type of data your organization backs up.

Another major benefit of using tape as a main data storage method is the ability to take advantage multi-site storage. As with any organization’s emergency downtime initiative, it is ideal to ensure multi-site data storage. That way a disaster at one storage site doesn’t risk destroying all of the company’s proprietary data. Nevertheless, the multi-site tape storage method can be pricey once you factor in costs of secure tape transfer and storage in data centers at off site facilities. Although tapes have certainly been in existence the longest, like everything else they’re bound to evolve.

Hard Disk Storage Backuphard disk data storage

Disk-based backup such as hard drives, is vastly quicker and more consistent for data repair than tape backup. Instead of writing from disk to a tape, writing from a disk to a disk is purely a more effective method of data transfer.

In the same way, restoration from disk based storage is a fairly efficient process. Restoration allows the avoidance of retrieving, sequencing and then replicating tapes one at a time.

The biggest downside to disk-based storage backups is that they’re located in an on-site facility. For multi-location storage, a third-party is needed for off-site backup. If you don’t want to use an off-site storage provider, it can become extremely expensive to keep increasing disk space.

Cloud Storage Backupcloud data storage

Cloud-based backup refers to an online off-site back up through cloud enablement technologies. Organizations can typically store data with superior cost efficiency in a cloud, by eliminating the need to buy and refresh tapes or disks. Cloud backup is also a much less painstaking process, as data replication is done as a service.

Cloud backup normally consist of multi-site data storage. A local data copy can live in an on-site appliance like the SmartFrame, while it also replicates data to your off-site data storage provider. These applications and enablement technologies constantly run in the background of your IT processes, removing some manual IT processes.

Since cloud based back up is still a relatively new technology, there are some perceived security concerns around the cloud. Questions remain whether cloud backup will open their data to being hacked or even leaked from a third party. There are also concerns of accidental mixing of data with other customers existing in the same data center.

Decision Time

No matter which data backup method an organization chooses to implement, it will have its fair share of both benefits and drawbacks due to technology continuing to make advances in speed, efficiency and security. When the time is right for your business to install a data storage infrastructure or upgrade the infrastructure currently in place, let We Buy Used Tape do the work for you. Since 1965, We Buy Used Tape has been assisting IT professionals and their companies efficiently update their data back up systems. Used and surplus tape and disk storage can be repurposed; helping businesses increase initial return on investment while staying socially responsible. Contact one of our IT experts today for a hassle-free quote on your IT assets. Let us take care of your infrastructure update and security from start to finish.

 

we buy used tape logo

E-Waste Recycling: A Corporate How-To Guide

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computers in trash

As we all know, e-waste continues to become an escalating issue around the world. Old and obsolete gadgets keep ending up in landfills as consumers demand new products and the life expectancy of electronics decreases. Trying to strategically manage electronic disposal with e-waste recycling can be a major burden for business owners in any industry. In the United States, businesses are regulated by state and federal laws concerning proper disposal of unwanted electronics. Hefty fines can be warranted if regulations are not followed.

E-Waste Recycling Options

That leaves businesses with four options when it comes to the electronic waste disposal: trash, recycle, sell, or donate.

Trash trash bin

In order for any organization to trash their obsolete goods, they must follow regulations governing hazardous waste or prove that the electronic equipment is not harmful. As much as this method is the least favorable, it is the most commonly used. Not only does it hurt the environment with toxins in the metals, but the ones throwing the electronics away don’t reap any benefits from it either.

Recyclerecycle bin

Recycling is the most socially responsible option available to business owners and gives any organization a sense of pride by doing their part to help the environment. We Buy Used IT Equipment can help you with your electronic recycling needs and ensure your data is 100% secure from the moment it leaves your facility. We offer chain of custody and certificate of data destruction to every customer upon request.

Sellgirl with cash money

Selling old and obsolete electronics is the most popular option among businesses. By selling old equipment, it gives companies a chance to recoup some of their original investment and balance budgets for the next year. Send We Buy Used IT Equipment a list of equipment you are looking to sell and we can make you an offer, helping you look like a hero to your organization.

Donatedonate now button

Many organizations chose to donate their unwanted electronics when it comes time to retire them. Not only do they reap the tax benefits of the donation, but it shows that they can socially responsible as well. We Buy Used IT Equipment offers donation assistance to anyone looking to contribute to a greater cause. Let us know which charity or nonprofit you would like to donate your goods to and we will take care of the rest.

Partner Checklist

When looking for a company to help dispose of electronic waste and IT assets, make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What measures do they take to ensure my data will be safe?
  • How are the toxic materials taken care of?
  • Are the reputable? How long have they been in business?

 

Why Choose We Buy Used IT Equipment?We Buy Used IT logo

The mishandling of electronic and IT asset disposal can result in a liability for any business. The organization that is having the e-waste disposed of, is ultimately responsible for every piece of data even after it is destroyed. Therefore, you want to choose a company that has a strong reputation of social responsibility and data security. We Buy Used IT Equipment has been a leader in the e-waste industry for over 50 years. Since 1965, we have made data security our top priority and have never had a data breach.

Electronic waste polluting our landfills won’t be ending any time soon. It is actually expected to grow 8% per year, forever. The EPA estimates that only 15-20% of e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills. This is an epidemic that needs to end. Taking the time to properly examine your electronic waste options is the best way to begin. Choosing We Buy IT Equipment is the best way to end.