Survey: Nearly Half of Organizations Lack Formal Program for Disposing of
Retired Servers, Hard Drives and Other Storage Devices
BOSTON -- May 8, 2014
A new report from Iron Mountain^® Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), the storage and
information management company, and TechTarget, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTGT), the
technology media company, suggests organizations have room to improve when it
comes to getting rid of old computers, cell phones, hard drives, servers and
other data storage devices.
Titled Enterprises have Room for Improvement in Secure IT Asset Disposition,
the newly released report indicates that while IT and business professionals
have made advances in their efforts to securely dispose of data center,
storage and office equipment, additional work is required to protect the
information stored on these devices, comply with data privacy laws, and recoup
some of the device’s original value through recycling. Some of the report’s
key insights include:
*Organizations dispose of IT storage devices to avoid risk: More often
than not, an organization’s goals in enacting a Secure IT Asset
Disposition (SITAD) policy focus on mitigating risks like losing
proprietary data (89 percent of respondents) or avoiding legal and
compliance headaches associated with protecting privacy (74 percent).
However, other positive benefits of a SITAD program like reducing space
issues or recouping financial investments are largely overlooked, with the
exception of sustainability, which 63 percent of respondents cite as a
*Enterprises struggle with SITAD program implementation and compliance:
Almost half of respondents – 46 percent – acknowledged that they either
don’t have a formal SITAD plan or that their formal plan isn’t widely
adopted across their organization. Findings indicate that the lack of
widespread compliance among employees stems from insufficient education
about SITAD policies or inadequate oversight in how employees implement
*IT and business executives agree that SITAD is a significant concern:
Three quarters of both business leaders and their IT counterparts state
they are either concerned or very concerned about potential shortcomings
in their SITAD programs. That concern doesn’t seem to translate into
program improvements, however, due to the misperceptions that
comprehensive programs cost more and that flaws in their current systems
aren’t posing urgent risks for the organization.
*Third-party specialists are primarily utilized for hardware disposal:
Sixty-four percent of respondents currently leverage outside SITAD experts
to some degree – notably to dispose of hardware, including data center
equipment like servers and computers and mobile phones. However,
organizations can further leverage third-party specialists for guidance on
strategy and success metrics. While cost is cited as the biggest obstacle
in pursuing help from outside resources (45 percent of respondent),
third-party experts can often save organizations money by assessing the
value of decommissioned equipment and then recycling it to recoup a
portion of the original investment.
“The secure disposition of IT assets will continue to be a top priority for
organizations as we face increasingly complex technological, legal and
compliance environments,” said Jay Livens, director of product and solutions
marketing, data management, Iron Mountain. “When looking to properly dispose
of computers, cell phones, servers and other storage devices, organizations
should do so in a compliant, environmentally correct manner to ensure they’re
meeting all internal and external data privacy requirements and recouping the
maximum economic value from their used equipment.”
In light of the survey’s findings, Iron Mountain offers the following SITAD
tips and best practices:
*Ensure all computer media and associated data is permanently destroyed and
non-recoverable before disposing of the storage device.
*Establish a defensible, documented, and repeatable process to prepare,
handle or transport, and destroy the data that resides on electronic
*Improve audit readiness using workflows that include security personnel
assigned to monitor the destruction process.
*Ensure media scheduled for offsite destruction is securely transported
with dedicated routes, 24x7 GPS tracking, thoroughly vetted drivers and a
*Avoid inadvertent disclosures by destroying sensitive or unencrypted data
in the right manner at the right time.
*Establish methodologies that ensure reliability and consistency from
collection through final destruction of end-of-life IT assets.
*Pursuing third-party vendors that are e-Stewards Certified Recyclers,
meaning they adhere to the highest standard of environmental
responsibility and worker safety, while protecting human health and the
TechTarget’s study was based on 125 responses from registered visitors to
SearchDataCenter.com. The full report with complete survey data is available
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and
information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 67
million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows
it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its solutions for records
management, data management, document management, andsecure shredding help
organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from
disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in
1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets,
including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data.
Visitwww.ironmountain.com for more information.
Laura Sudnik, 617-535-4707
Katie Carbone, 617-520-7135
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.