Does your company have an IT asset disposition plan in place? Data Center POST recently spoke with Liquid Technology’s Managing Partner, Richard Greene, to learn what it takes to safely and securely execute data destruction, e-waste recycling, and computer liquidation. Read on to learn more.
By: Joanna Soucy, Editor-in-Chief
1.Can you give some insight into the genesis of Liquid Technology and what you do?
As one of the industry’s leading IT asset disposition service providers, Liquid Technology offers a suite of effective and impartial solutions for data destruction, e-waste recycling, and computer liquidation. With nearly 20 years of experience in IT asset disposition (ITAD), we integrate our specialized knowledge and extensive certifications to recommend and execute a deliberate plan of action for our customers, mitigating the risk of recycling liability.
We also abide by all industry protocols and regulations and have secured a variety of certifications. Liquid Technology is R2 certified, ISO 14001:2015 certified, OHSAS 18001 certified, and National Association for Information Destruction (NAID)® AAA certified. We have also secured an e-Stewards 3.0 certification, which means that we adhere to responsible and ethical recycling standards.
2. What are the unique challenges that your e-waste and IT asset disposition services solve?
When companies regularly upgrade equipment to stay ahead of cutting-edge technologies, are looking to migrate to the cloud, or simply have end-of-life hardware that needs to be replaced, they oftentimes don’t consider the ramifications that can incur by improperly disposing of that equipment. Donating the equipment to charity or selling it to recoup some costs are a great solution for many organizations, but if the data is not completely destroyed before the equipment begins its secondary purpose, the organization can be exposed to a variety of negative effects: For example:
- Privacy / identity litigation
- Violations of federal regulations
- Infringement of intellectual property
- Disclosure of sensitive business strategies
- Breach of software licensing agreements
- Environmental damage
- Negative publicity
At Liquid Technology, we are focused on providing best-in-class services to help companies of all sizes and stages in their ITAD process to save money, streamline operations, and improve overall data security. We are up-to-date and certified in the latest National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines for secure data destruction, while meeting the EPA’s recommendations for the proper recycling and disposal of e-waste. We are equipped with the know-how and cost-savings best practices required for companies to turn a potential compliance disaster into revenue, improving corporate responsibility and sustainability in the process.
3. What are the key considerations, protocols and appropriate steps that companies need to consider when developing an e-waste and IT asset destruction plan?
With more than 500 federal and state regulations that govern IT asset disposal, many companies aren’t equipped with the knowledge, understanding and capability to properly dispose of data or recycle e-waste appropriately. In fact, the majority of companies do not have an IT disposal plan in place, effectively putting the privacy of their employees, partners and customers at risk.
There are several methods of data destruction that can be considered when developing a plan. Degaussing, for example, is a technique used in data destruction that incorporates powerful magnetic fields to effectively erase and eliminate all of the data recorded on a magnetic storage device such as a hard drive. Once a hard drive has been degaussed, it is completely inoperable. Another method of data destruction is shredding. In this process, the hard drive is fed into a machine that shreds it into hundreds of smaller pieces rendering it inoperable as well. Software data destruction is one of the most effective means of eliminating sensitive data from the disc, while maintaining the functionality of the disc for re-use or resale. This is a process in which each drive sector of the disc is overwritten with meaningless data. The advantage of using software data destruction is that it protects customers’ investments, allowing them to use the equipment in another area of their business or as potential working capital through resale.
4. How has the widespread enterprise migration to the cloud impacted your business?
As more and more companies across a variety of industries migrate their core business application to the cloud, they are often left with hardware that they no longer need. Enter Liquid Technology’s CloudLast. This suite of services encompasses site surveys, logistics, deracking, shipping, on-site and off-site data destruction, e-Waste recycling, and liquidating services to guide organizations through their final step of cloud migration.
5. What types of organizations or companies can benefit the most from Liquid Technology’s services?
Every organization that values privacy and security for their employees and their customers can benefit from utilizing Liquid Technology. We work with companies across a variety of verticals, from hospitals needing to abide by HIPAA requirements and destroy sensitive patient information, to schools whose equipment is at its end-of-life and needs to be disposed of to financial institutes that upgrade hardware and software regularly to stay up-to-date and competitive, and more. We can assist organizations looking to migrate to the cloud, move offices or relocate to a data center, companies that have been acquired, those looking for a simple technology refresh, or adding international locations. No matter the stage, size, or industry, our services have been beneficial across the board when it comes to overall ITAD and recouping costs.
6. It looks like a lot of your customers are based in the U.S. Do you service other countries as well? If so, are there unique challenges that you face when dealing with rules or regulations in other countries?
The world has truly become a global economy and we work with many US-based companies that have overseas offices and data center space. Our largest international markets are in the EU & APAC with Singapore, Amsterdam, and London being the cities we are in most often. What makes it challenging is that each country has unique laws in place regarding e-waste and data privacy. For instance, Germany does not allow data of its citizens to leave the country. In order to work within those parameters, we found a local partner in Germany to wipe or shred hard drives before shipping them to us in the US. It took a long time for us to gain this knowledge and create these partnerships. Our team works hard to ensure that our clients do not have to worry about these challenges.
7. Can a company properly dispose of e-waste in-house? Why would working with a company like Liquid Technology be more beneficial?
Complete data destruction can certainly be performed in-house by personnel within the organization’s IT department. However, oftentimes, in an effort to save money, the task is assigned to a junior IT team member that lacks the proper understanding of data destruction. In many instances, not to the fault of the assigned personnel, drives are lost, stolen, or misplaced which, in turn, costs the company more money, more time, and more manpower than they can afford. If a company does not have it within their budget to work with a certified and experienced ITAD provider, then appropriate policies need to put in place ahead of data destruction to ensure accountability and accuracy every step of the way.
8. What does the future hold for Liquid Technology?
It is an exciting time at Liquid Technology. Not only do we continue to grow our international presence, but we are continuing to grow domestically as well. We will be announcing a new development that will propel our growth within the U.S. very soon.
We also plan to continue to strengthen our partnership with Per Scholas, a non-profit foundation that opens doors to transformative technology careers for individuals from often overlooked communities. As Per Scholas’ ITAD partner, we assist them by liquidating their donated IT equipment and the revenue generated from our efforts is donated back to the organization and its programs.