5 Reasons Why Secure Disposal is Critical

 5th Oct 2016

ATMs are an attractive proposition to potential criminals given their ability to hold up to 8000 notes or more as well as storing some transaction information.  Information varies across Financial Institution and can include withdrawal amounts and card numbers either in part or in full.

Secure disposal may be a requirement among some service agreements once an ATM has been decommissioned.  This must be carried out properly to ensure any regulatory compliance rules are met.

The ATM needs to be disposed of securely to protect items such as EPP and HDD modules and some piece parts from being used for illicit purposes.  Secure disposal can be implemented in varying degrees of quality but to do it properly provides the following peace of mind.

1.  Tracking and certification

The most important aspect of secure disposal is the ability to track each part from the point of decommission to the point of destruction and to certify the process.This prevents the parts, modules and ATMs from going missing.

It is important that the serial number of the part or module is tracked through each of the key stages of secure disposal so that the customer can be assured that they have met the regulatory compliance requirements.


2.  Reverse Engineering

It is possible that a part could be reverse engineered and as such if it is not securely disposed of the secure supply chain is compromised.  Engineering in this way could also enable test beds to be used for the development of malware.

This process involves rebuilding parts of the ATM which can help criminals locate weak areas, uncovering ways to breach the safe and exploit the ATMs construction.

Criminals could find new ways of integrating technology such as skimmers inconspicuously to commit fraudulent offences.  Secure disposal helps prevent parts such as the EPP and Hard drives from being sold on places such as EBay and being purchased for unlawful purposes.

3.  Keeping Customer Data Safe

The PC Core in an ATM contains the hard drive which could potentially hold customer data including card numbers, account balances, amounts withdrawn along with dates and times.  Information held is likely to vary between countries.

Destroying the hard drive removes any potential customer data that may be stored on it. 

4.  Environmental Responsibility

Secure disposal also involves the removal of hazardous electrical components from your ATMS in a safe, environmentally respectful manner.

This helps to protect the environment from materials which could otherwise prove to be harmful such as lead, mercury and cadmium.

On a commercial level this will assist your company in maintaining compliance with relevant regulations and accreditations such as ISO14001.  It also strengthens Corporate Social Responsibility policies.

This helps your company to avoid environment related penalties as well as adding value to your service by adhering to the criteria of various international standards.

5.  Branding

It is important to destroy branding as part of the secure disposal process in order to prevent logo panels being used on counterfeit ATMs.  

Secure disposal protects the good name of the ATM owner to ensure bad publicity does not result by not following the process correctly.


Have you got all of these areas covered with your Secure Disposal?  Do you get certification?  Can you account for each of the parts that have been sent for Secure disposal?  Do you meet the Compliance rules for disposal in your country? 

We are always interested to hear your opinions on such matters so please share yours with us.  If you need advice for Secure Disposal please contact us and you can speak with an expert.