After the strange year that was 2020, we are looking ahead to the new year. There are some exciting things we have to look forward to, in technology and the environmental sectors.
2021 looks to be an exciting year when it comes to technology, with lots of trends to watch out for! Gartner has released a list of technology trends for 2021. We will discuss some of the ones we think you should know about. The two we have chosen are with regards to data security and keeping your business safe when sharing confidential data.
Privacy enhancing computation
Data privacy is an absolute necessity in today’s day and age, so it is important to ensure data is secure. Privacy-enhancing computation consists of 3 technologies, which will help to protect company data:
- The first technology provides an environment where sensitive data can be processed or analysed.
2. The second performs processing and analysis in a decentralised manner.
3. The third technology encrypts the data before processing it.
Using this will allow companies to collaborate on research projects securely, without sacrificing the confidentiality of the data. Gartner has estimated that half of organisations will implemented some sort of privacy-enhancing computing by the time we reach 2025.
Cyber security mesh
Since the pandemic hit the UK at the beginning of 2020, the number of people working remotely increased significantly. Remote working requires employees to access important work files from home. Therefore, a large quantity of a company’s critical assets are used outside the physical organisation and information is distributed more than ever. Since remote working has increased, attacks on data has also increased, showing how important it is to have control over company assets.
Therefore, Gartner has stated how essential cybermesh has and is becoming. Cybermesh is related to the “zero-trust” security model. This states that access control should be applied to any asset regardless of where the person is accessing it from. The company’s security perimeter is linked to data and identity. However, context is important. It must be possible for companies to determine which person has access to which data, with which permissions on which device in which location.
Recycling in 2021
We are all aware of the effect we are having on the environment and how we should reduce our carbon footprint. This responsibility we have is for each of us individually, but also businesses too. But did you know that organisations who sell electrical and electronic equipment have a legal responsibility to provide free take-back services of used equipment?
WEEE Regulations in 2020
These requirements were set out in the WEEE Regulations in 2013. They state that customers must be provided with a way of disposing of their old household electrical and electronic equipment when they purchase a new version of the same item. The method of purchase is irrelevant; the requirements remain the same.
However, DTS was previously available for larger organisations. This allowed members to be exempt from offering a free take-back service if they pay a fee towards supporting local recycling centres. The fee was dependent on the size of the business, how the equipment was sold and the quantity of goods.
WEEE Regulations in 2021
WEEE Regulations set the WEEE collection targets each year. Unfortunately, for the past 3 years, these targets have not been met. In 2021, changes will be implemented to help improve collection rates. The idea is to make it more convenient for consumers to recycle their waste electricals.
Joining the DTS will no longer be an option. Furthermore, from January 2021, organisations that were previously allowed to join, must now provide in-store take-back facilities.
According to a survey, 42% of people said that they would used WEEE recycling banks at supermarkets and shops if they were available. 61% of people would also use in-store drop off points in electrical retail stores. The changes being implemented will allow for these facilities to be more accessible for consumers.
These changes to retail will hopefully evolve the way that consumers and businesses behave towards disposing of goods. Lets make 2021 the year that we all aim to be a zero-waste business. You can learn more about this by reading one of our previous blogs – https://www.zixtel.com/how-to-become-a-zero-waste-business/. By making small changes in the way we operate, we can reduce carbon emissions and, one step at a time, change the impact we have on the environment.
If you, as an individual or a business, need to dispose of electricals, you have different options. You can use the retailer you initially bought the goods from, local recycling facilities, or companies like Zixtel, who can take care of it for you.
We all know that a big part of 2021 will be the UK leaving the EU. New rules will be coming in which will affect anyone wanting to ship abroad in terms of the paperwork required. With regards to the environment, the UK government website states that “existing EU environmental laws will continue to operate in UK law”. In an article on the parliament website, it rightly says that the UK are leaving the EU, not Europe. The UK and European environment will always be linked, so it is vital that they continue to cooperate to protect this shared environment.
In terms of WEEE, it is therefore important that we keep trying to reduce the amount that goes to landfill. We should try our best to protect the environment in any way we can, and Brexit will not affect that.
To conclude, 2021 looks like it is going to be a very significant year. It looks like it is going to be the year that we will learn from previous mistakes; from how we deal with confidential data and information, to how we behave towards the environment. Additionally, the UK is also leaving the EU which will impact some parts of our lives, but not where the environment is concerned. We are excited to see the developments that we can make to becoming more secure and green businesses.