The huge cybersecurity risk of e-waste | Coffee & Conversation: Kevin Dillon

November 6, 2019 posted by

What’s really happening right now is a
lot of electronic devices are getting illegally exported out of the United
States and those devices are coming back to the United States in terms of
counterfeit goods Hello and welcome to Coffee & Conversation
here on btcn I’m your host Shashank Bengali I’m here
with Kevin Dillon He’s the Co-Founder &
Chief Marketing Officer of ERI Kevin, thanks for being with us today Thank you very much it’s an honour So what brings you to the
Tech & Marketing conference? We are the largest IT and electronic asset disposition
provider in North America But what we’ve really seen is a trend for data destruction responsible data destruction So we’re at one of the largest cyber
security conferences in the world with managing data centers But the item that no one’s really talking about is a breach can happen through hardware
it happens through software by hackers It can happen through hardware by one
not properly managing their electronic devices and thus risking the data on the
devices Host: So you guys are e-waste providers The focus has always been on the software as you said What has made hardware so much more crucial today in terms of responsible disposal? Well there’s many different hardware There’s many different laws
requiring the proper destruction of data So everyone talks about software Through hardware
the devices contain the personal identifiable information of
customers and of corporate clients And so if that information is
not managed properly thus a breach can happen When a breach happens
those business entities are liable for the disposition
of the death So it’s really a cybersecurity issue as much as it isn’t environmental it’s completely a cybersecurity issue but the industry is only talking about the software side Not the hardware side We’ve seen a massive trend within our industry focused on the hardware side We hear so much talk when
it comes to you know consumer goods and plastics and this desire now for a
circular economy in every industry How much does that impact there and
what is the incentive that drives companies to pursue these solutions on
the e-waste side What we’ve seen with our customers is customers want transparency and they want responsibility We work with a lot of
largest original electronic manufacturers the OEMs and when they’re
designing more sustainable products They want to purchase goods that are of
a recycled content They want to take that recycled content put that into the new
products they’re manufacturing thus completing the circular economy When we first began hearing about e-waste There was an economic argument – and
that raw materials, copper, other metals were expensive There was a need to kind
of save money and economize that way We now hear about things like the possible
scarcity of rare earths with the dispute with China How much is an economic incentive part of what’s driving companies to do this as well? Well, real recycling costs money There’s proper infrastructure
there’s proper technology that needs to be in place for an organization to recycle material that
will generate the cleanest quality and the largest supply The manufacturers
want to work with those organizations that can produce the highest
quality of recyclable material That materials then going into new products
and making new devices So ERI has 8 locations, 8 offices in the US but you’re able to dispose of e-waste
across the United States Correct, we have 8 locations approximately thousand people in the
United States However our customers want a global solution So we are currently
working with different global partners to provide our customers with the global
solution that can manage their data and make sure that the electronics are
managed responsibly and recycling appropriately You’re in a Tech & Marketing conference
What’s been the main takeaway for you so far after 2 days of being here It’s amazing how everyone talks about breach and cybersecurity But no one is talking about the hardware hacking and the
breach that can happen on the hardware devices It’s interesting as I’ve been
walking around a lot of people said Why is an electronic recycling firm at a
cybersecurity conference? And then once you educate them on a breach can
happen through hardware Just like it can happen through software They’re absolutely amazed I think that we’re going to continue to go to many
cybersecurity conferences all over the world Have we seen an example of a major
security breach in hardware that you can kind of point to as
“Hey this is what we need to be worried about” There’s been many organisations that
had breaches through hardware What’s really happening right now is A lot of electronic devices are getting illegally exported out of the United States and those devices are coming back to the United States in terms of counterfeit goods So the US federal government is proposing new laws that will counter So it’s really a level of military security
as well as civilian security Describe what the next 10 years look like if you are able to kind of persuade industry of the need to deal with the hardware side of things Where’s the e-waste disposal industry
going to look like? The 3 major trends that are affecting our industry right now is the need for a circular economy the converging of 4G to 5G technology was just going to be
absolutely massive within our industry As well as the need for proper data
destruction on hardware devices With the the federal laws that are in place
in the United States and different types of global laws around data security like
GDPR that has happened in the European Union Those trends will continue
and businesses will have to appropriately manage their data from a
hardware perspective You mentioned 5G become so political now to think about the transition to 5G Where the providers are coming from Various geopolitical arguments to play as well How do you as a company navigate those
political questions when it comes to things like 5G? Well, our job is to make sure that the data is properly destroyed To make sure the
electronic devices are properly recycled And have the cleanest commodities that
go back into making new products and so we customers all over the world that need our service and it’s one global
world that we all live in and work with It’s wonderful to be here in Singapore
from the United States And so we’re going to continue to work
with different organisations that need a global solution Well, thanks Kevin that’s all the time we have Thank you so much for joining us
on Coffee & Conversation I’m Shashank Bengali from BTCN and we’ll see you next time

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