Charles Veprek

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The Effect of Tech-Giving: How Donating Laptops Promotes ESG Goals

Posted by Charles Veprek

Nov 21, 2023 9:02:00 AM

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals are fundamental to shaping a sustainable and equitable future. The path to achieving these goals is multifaceted and requires innovative approaches. One of the most impactful steps a company can take is through the donation of technology. This initiative not only aligns with but also significantly advances ESG objectives.

The act of donating used technology is more than a gesture of goodwill; it represents a strategic and impactful move towards fulfilling key ESG objectives. Environmentally, it extends the life of electronic devices, delaying their end of life (EoL) journey and reducing the demand for new devices. Since approximately 80% of a device’s carbon footprint originates from the mining and manufacturing process, reuse has the greatest environmental impact.

Techgiving 4

Socially, the impact of technology donation is profound. It equalizes access to technology, leveling the playing field for families in low-income households. This leveling of the playing field is crucial in a world where access to technology is often directly linked to educational and economic opportunities. By providing these tools, companies can play a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide, offering people the chance to enhance their skills, education, and future opportunities.

Governance-wise, technology donation reflects a company's commitment to ethical practices and social responsibility. It demonstrates a forward-thinking approach and a dedication to making a tangible difference in society, beyond profit margins.

Incorporating "Tech-Giving" into your ESG initiatives can create ripple effects that enhance educational outcomes for countless lives. Data reveals a digital divide as tech-equipped students outperform their peers by a standard deviation in testing, equating to an additional year of learning by 4th grade and over two years by 8th grade.

Through ITAMG Cares, "Tech-Giving" transcends ESG metrics, actively turning the tide on e-waste, championing the cause of education, and building a legacy of positive impact. Let's harness the collective power of our technology to pave the way for a more sustainable and just world.


Bridging the Digital Divide Through ITAMG Cares

Posted by Charles Veprek

Nov 13, 2023 9:02:00 AM

Access to technology is not just about staying connected; it's a lifeline to education, economic opportunities, and a brighter future. Yet, for many low-income families, this lifeline remains out of reach. The digital divide is a chasm that separates those with access to modern information technology from those without.

How significant is the digital divide among low-income families?

The digital divide is quite significant. Recent statistics show that about 43% of low-income families do not own a desktop or laptop computer, a stark contrast to the near-universal ownership among households with higher incomes.

Does the digital divide affect all regions of the country equally?

No, the digital divide varies greatly by region, highlighting the complex economic, geographic, and social factors at play. This uneven distribution often forces those without access to seek public computer labs, which aren't always available.

Techgiving 1How is ITAMG trying to address the digital divide?

ITAMG is actively working to bridge the digital divide through our ITAMG Cares initiative. We're not just observers; we're committed to making a change by repurposing technology to aid those in need.

What is the goal of ITAMG Cares?

The goal of ITAMG Cares is straightforward: to place laptops into the hands of children and families who need them, transforming what businesses consider obsolete into powerful educational tools.

Does ITAMG Cares accept donations of other technology besides laptops?

No, ITAMG Cares focuses solely on the donation of laptops. Laptops are self-contained and portable in nature, which includes built-in displays, keyboards, and mice, allowing for versatile use in various settings.

What impact does donating a laptop through ITAMG Cares have?

Each laptop donated through ITAMG Cares offers the recipient the opportunity to learn new skills, discover a passion for technology, or access vital resources. We've witnessed the joy and wonder on children's faces when they are holding their new laptop or the gratitude of parents who see new possibilities for their children's futures.

Does working with ITAMG Cares support ESG Goals?

Yes, repurposing laptops though a donation program supports ESG initiatives. ITAMG Cares aids both environmental sustainability and social equity, key aspects of ESG objectives.

How can companies contribute to the ITAMG Cares mission?

Companies can play a pivotal role by reevaluating the donation of their used laptops. Together, we can dismantle the barriers of the digital divide, one device at a time, and weave a web of opportunity that spans across communities and continents.




The NIST 800-88 r1 Explained: Your Data Security Compass

Posted by Charles Veprek

Oct 26, 2023 8:45:00 AM

In the vast ocean of data security, having a reliable compass is crucial. For organizations and individuals alike, the NIST Special Publication 800-88 (often referred to as NIST 800-88 r1 and titled “Guidelines for Media Sanitization”) serves as a guide to data destruction.

What is The NIST 800-88 r1 Standard?

The NIST 800-88 r1 is a publication that provides guidance on data destruction when media will be reused or leaving your company’s control. It also helps to make informed decisions about data disposal, sanitization, and data controls during the life cycle of an asset. Guidance is based on the categorization of data.

How does the NIST 800-88 r1 categorize data?

The NIST 800-88 r1 categorizes data into three security tiers: low, moderate, and high. These tiers work in conjunction with security objectives found in the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199 and specifically the impact level a data nonconformity would have on those security objectives.

What are the security objectives outlined in the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199?

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199 outlines the following security objectives:

  • Confidentiality: Ensuring only authorized access and disclosure of information.

  • Integrity: Ensuring data authenticity and preventing improper modification or destruction.

  • Availability: Ensuring data access and use is timely and reliable.

What are the impact levels outlined in the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199?

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 199 outlines the following impact levels

  • Low – Loss of control of a security objective would have a limited adverse effect on operations, assets, or individuals.

  • Moderate: Loss of control of a security objective could have a serious adverse effect on operations, assets or individuals.

  • High: Loss of control of a security objective could have a severe or catastrophic adverse effect on operations, assets, or individuals.

Once an impact level has been assigned to each security, the data categorization is based on the most severe impact level identified.

How do you decide on a data destruction process?

Data destruction should be based on three factors: the security categorization of the data, is reuse of the media permissible and if the media leaving your company’s control.

If reuse of the media is not permitted, physical destruction is always required. If reuse of the media is permitted, use the flow chart provided below:

Navigating Data Destruction: Beyond the NIST Standard 

While the NIST standard is there to help provide guidance on industry best practices, remember there are other factors to consider when choosing the right data destruction method. This includes not only regulatory requirements but also costs and sustainability.

The next time you're pondering over how to handle obsolete data, remember it may not be as straightforward as it seems. But following internal policies along industry best practices, you can navigate the data destruction process with confidence and clarity.


5 Tips on Choosing the Right Data Destruction Method

Posted by Charles Veprek

Oct 23, 2023 8:45:00 AM

When planning an IT asset disposal project, you need to communicate to your vendor which data destruction method is required. While both data erasure and physical destruction have their merits, the best choice hinges on a few key considerations:

  1. Nature of the Data: What’s on the hard drive? Is it general, non-sensitive information, or does it contain confidential company secrets or personal details? For highly sensitive data, many opt for physical destruction to ensure no chance of recovery.

  1. Confidentiality Level: Some data, even if not overtly sensitive, may have special requirements due to industry regulations (i.e. – HIPPA, etc.) or company policies. Always be aware of such mandates when deciding on a destruction method.DALL·E 2023-10-19 11.54.52 - Drawing of a scale_ on one side, a hard drive being overwritten with data (symbolizing erasure) is balanced against a shattered hard drive on the othe

  1. Reusability: Are you interested in sustainability and reusing assets? If so, logical sanitization might be your go-to. It allows the hard drives to be securely cleaned and then reused, saving resources, and reducing electronic waste. Again, always check with industry regulations or company polices.

  1. Costs and Practicality: While data erasure might sound appealing for its reusability, it can require specialized software and may not be feasible for all devices. Conversely, physical destruction can be more straightforward but might come with its costs, especially for large volumes of devices.

  1. Regulatory Requirements: Certain sectors have strict guidelines on data disposal. For instance, the healthcare industry must ensure data destruction practices that conform to HIPPA.

Choosing the right data destruction method is a delicate balance between ensuring utmost security and promoting sustainability. It's not just about erasing data but about making informed decisions that align with both regulatory requirements and organizational values. To further aid decision-making, there are established standards like the NIST 800-88 r1, which help with the categorization of data and provides clear guidance on industry best approaches.

By understanding the nature of your data, the associated costs, and the potential for reuse, you can select a method that not only protects sensitive information but also champions responsible IT asset management.






Data Destruction 101

Posted by Charles Veprek

Oct 18, 2023 8:45:00 AM

Navigating the complexities of IT asset disposition (ITAD) can be challenging, especially when faced with the critical task of data destruction. This process is not only crucial in safeguarding sensitive corporate information but also personal data that could be vulnerable to unauthorized access.

What is Data Destruction?

Data destruction is simply the process of ensuring that unwanted or obsolete data is removed beyond recovery. Two primary methods dominate this realm: logical sanitization (i.e.- Data Erasure) and physical destruction (i.e.- hard drive shredding).

What is Data Erasure?

Data erasure is a deep-cleaning service for your hard drive. Instead of merely deleting files, which can still be recovered, data erasure overwrites existing data, ensuring it's gone for good. One major perk? The hard drives can be reused, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility.

DALL·E 2023-10-16 13.42.56 - Illustration of a shredded hard drive, with binary code particles dispersing, symbolizing the data destruction process

What is Hard Drive Shredding

Hard drive shredding involves destroying the hard drive entirely. Imagine paper being put through a paper shredder, hard drive shredding will break and cut the drive into much smaller pieces. Very much like document destruction – once it’s done, there’s no going back.

Which data destruction method is the best?

Data destruction is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Factors like the nature of the data, its confidentiality level, and industry regulations play a role. If your company has a well written and robust ITAD management process, those requirements are likely found there based on guidance from the NIST 800-88 r1. If not, check with your IT security team.

The Final Byte on Data Destruction

Ensuring the proper disposal of data shields against unforeseen threats. In our interconnected digital world, the sanctity of data is paramount. Whether you're leaning towards eco-friendly data erasure or the finality of hard drive shredding, each choice reflects a commitment to security.


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