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hardware chain of custody

The Importance of Hardware Chain of Custody

Getting rid of your outdated IT equipment isn’t as simple as throwing it in the trash, especially when your electronics contain highly sensitive data. To protect your company, clients, and employees, you must safeguard data access with a trackable hardware chain of custody.

What Is the Chain of Custody?

So you want to dispose of your waste electronics. As with many business processes, it begins with documentation.

Essentially, the chain of custody is the process of documenting where electronic assets are throughout each stage of recycling. Just like the chain of custody in a court of law, it’s important to establish the location of each item so your company can prove that no one has tampered with the item’s sensitive data.

Typically, the hardware chain of custody proceeds as follows:

1. Collection and Recording

The chain of custody begins when an IT asset disposition (ITAD) provider collects your company’s outdated office equipment and makes a record of each item.

2. Transportation and Tracking

Next, your ITAD providers will send your waste electronics off for processing. In a proper chain of custody, they should allow you to track each stage of this process.

3. Data Destruction

These days, clicking “delete” isn’t enough to clear a device of your company’s sensitive data. So in the third step of the hardware chain of custody, certified electronics recyclers will eradicate all of the data on your company’s devices. 

4. Processing

At this point, your electronics recycling partner will assess your outdated equipment to see if it possesses any resale value. In some cases, this allows your company to cut down on ITAD expenses. If the items are deemed useless, they will instead be processed for recycling.

5. Reporting

When it’s all said and done, your electronic recyclers will provide you with proof that your items were correctly recycled. If they don’t provide you with a Certificate of Destruction, be sure to ask for one. This will confirm that any sensitive data is long gone.

Why Is the Chain of Custody Important?

Understanding the chain of custody and using it to your advantage is important to protect both your data and your business at large. Of course, you want your organization’s data to be handled with care and safety. The chain of custody dictates which entity is legally responsible if an item is damaged, lost, or stolen. And if an investigation or audit is necessary, you can use the chain of custody to confirm the evidence.

Upholding an unimpeachable chain of custody to your company’s advantage will protect your brand’s image in the event of a data breach. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t dispose of your organization’s IT equipment carelessly. By working with a reputable e-waste recycling company, you can conduct business with one less worry on your mind.

Recycle Your E-Waste Securely with FAMCe

A data breach from improperly handled end-of-life electronics can turn into a nightmare for your organization’s data security, public image, and bottom line. Luckily, there are certified, reputable recyclers that will dispose of your company’s electronic devices the right way — all while maintaining that vital hardware chain of custody. So when it’s time to get rid of your old electronics, choose a partner you can rely on.

First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) has over 30 years of experience helping businesses safely and responsibly recycle their outdated devices. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as an industry leader, and we are committed to exceeding each client’s needs and expectations.

Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.

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