Working from home has become the norm. According to a recent WalletHub study, before COVID-19 only 20% of persons whose work could be done from home did so all of the time or sometimes. However, since the pandemic, that figure has increased to 71%, with 54% of those employees desiring to continue working from home post-COVID. Businesses also save on office building costs and other overhead expenses by following the working from home model. Therefore, working from home will likely persist as the new normal. However, what are the implications for e-waste recycling and disposal of your company’s assets and data? Let’s consider how adopting a Media Disposal Policy can facilitate remote work that promotes best practices in data security and asset lifecycle management.
Considerations for a Work From Home Media Disposal Policy
The WalletHub study indicated that North Carolina ranked second (after Delaware) on the list of best working from home states. Our state also has several factors that support working from home. These factors include a large work-from-home population pre-COVID, a good share of potential telecommuters, sufficient residential square footage, good internet access in homes, and affordable electricity. While our state ranked 10th for cybersecurity, there is room for improvement.
Having more of your employees work from home necessitates a Cybersecurity and Media Disposal Policy. Such a policy provides guidelines for best data security practices, chain-of-custody guidelines, data sanitization, e-waste recycling and disposal of end-of-life devices, and asset lifecycle management.
Asset Lifecycle Management and Chain-of-Custody Guidelines
Asset lifecycle management involves the procurement, deployment, utilization, maintenance, and disposal of your company’s assets. These assets include computing equipment and mobile devices issued by your business for remote work. Managing your company’s assets also means setting chain-of-custody guidelines to address any data access vulnerabilities and incidents.
Chain-of-custody guidelines have their roots within the legal framework. Having a clear set of chain-of-custody guidelines is essential, especially in an age of cyber attacks and subsequent investigation and recovery. In a future blog post, we will further explore the nuances of data collection, examination and analysis of the data, and making detailed reports to inform improvements in data security. The important takeaway for this article is that we need an environmentally sensitive, as well as data and cybersecurity aware, solution to handling devices when they are at the end of their usable life.
Dealing With End-of-Life Devices
Treatment of end-of-life devices means thorough data sanitization before e-waste recycling and disposal. The data lifecycle entails its creation, storage, use, sharing, archiving, and finally, its safe destruction. Data sanitization is critical for this final phase and it consists of three main methods: physical destruction, cryptographic erasure, and data erasure.
Physically destroying a device generates e-waste for safe disposal. The other two methods make e-waste recycling a possibility as electronic devices are refurbished and given a second life. The data sanitization and e-waste procedures that your company chooses should be informed by your corporate values and ethical responsibilities.
Working from home is beneficial for your company, management, and staff. However, you need to ensure that your company’s assets and data are protected even after you no longer use them.
Net Friends is proud to partner with our good friends at Triangle Ecycling. We have enjoyed working with them for years. We readily vouch for their fantastic IT recycling and data destruction program, and by working with a local partner we can all reduce our use of fuel and packaging. As an added benefit, we handle all the logistics for processing suitable electronic waste through Triangle Ecycle for our NetVisor Contract customers. We help maintain the chain of custody and arrange for the secure pickup on your behalf.
Net Friends Can Help Your Team Transition to a Remote Work Model
Net Friends is a comprehensive Managed IT Services Provider located in North Carolina. Not only do we provide managed IT services and IT staffing, but we also help you determine the best IT strategy and security for your company. We believe that it is important to manage the risks associated with remote work so that your company can reap the benefits. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your company transition seamlessly and securely into having your teams work from home.