Securing Electronic Waste for a Remote Workforce

Posted on September 15, 2020 by


What if you’re working from home and it's time to replace your aging laptop and smart phone.  Now that you can’t just drop off your old machines in the IT Support office to be ‘wiped’ clear of client sensitive data, is there some other secure way to dispose of your old devices?

 “Electronic Waste” or “e-waste”  is growing faster than any other waste stream. This presents a significant environmental challenge, with 50 million tons of e-waste produced each year, which is projected to more than double by 2050.  For businesses – and particularly for lawyers working from home -- there is another major problem presented by end-of-life electronics: data security.

High-profile data thefts and losses have been all over the news in recent years. We have all seen movie scenes of folks going through dumpsters to try to find print-outs or notes which turn the entire plot around.  But what about the data present on old electronics or devices that are being retired and discarded? Secure handling of the data at the end of life electronics is just as critical as your online data.  It requires at least the same level of discipline, care, and safeguarding. 

Just recently, New York State and its Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) levied the first cybersecurity enforcement action under its Cybersecurity Regulation, known as NYCRR 500.  A lawsuit was filed against First American Title Insurance Company (Natl. Law Review Article) for a massive data breach, marking the first civil suit brought forth under the new regulation which went into effect in July of 2017.

The trend towards remote working, greatly accelerated by COVID-19, has amplified the security risk posed by end-of-life electronics because companies now have much less control regarding the means and methods for disposal of home electronics. Fortunately, we have found a cost-effective solution to the problem.  

"RemoteReturn”  is a new direct mail service that makes e-recycling easier than ever for you and your remote workforce while ensuring both secure and sustainable recycling practices.  The name of the organization providing the service is 4THBIN. The remote employee can simply ship their e-recycling assets directly to 4THBIN for processing.  All that is needed to start is either filling out the form at 4thbin.com/remotereturn or by contacting its head, Jeffrey Zink, at jeffrey@4thbin.com.


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