A new trade body is urging the channel to help arrest the growth in end users shunning IT reuse policies on data protection grounds.
According to a poll of 75 members of the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA), the physical destruction of IT assets accounts for more than a third of the onsite work they do.
Its findings also show that the number of end users opting for onsite IT disposal is growing year on year, and has risen by 10 per cent between 2006 and 2010.
ADISA, which was formed in October, claims the findings suggest that a rise in the physical destruction of IT assets by end users could be on the cards.
End users are favouring physical destruction over reuse to ensure their data does not fall into the wrong hands, ADISA director Steve Mellings told ChannelWeb.
"No one wants to risk being the next high-profile company to hit the headlines because of a data breach," he said. "People prefer to destroy devices because they do not want to risk handing them over to a third party who promises to wipe and then reuse the device."
Mellings added that the channel needs to emphasise safeguarding data security is key to the reuse process. "Traditionally, the industry has relied on the green angle to push the reuse message, but that is only part of the story," he explained.
"As well as being environmentally responsible, end users also want a guarantee that their data will be securely disposed of."
ADISA unveiled a standards document in January to promote good practice, which will certify channel firms according to their ability to safely dispose of data.
"It is critical the channel gives independent advice to their clients so they can make a fully informed reason for their disposal policies," said Mellings.
"In some instances physical destruction will remain the best solution, but in many more instances software overwriting may allow them to consider reuse."
Askar Sheibani, chief executive of IT disposal firm Comtek, welcomed ASIDA's support in promoting reuse.
"Out of all the products that can be reused, a small proportion will contain sensitive data," he said.
"And convincing end users to hand over products that do will be difficult because of trust," he added.
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