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Secure Chain of Custody

Cascade is unique in the industry in that we offer nationwide pickups using our own background checked, professional staff who know how to properly and securely handle IT equipment.

What is a "Secure Chain of Custody"?

This phrase means different things to different people, so it’s important to be clear on what a secure chain of custody entails at Cascade.

Cascade defines a chain of custody as the accountable transfer of IT assets and materials from the customer to final disposition at Cascade in a manner transparent to all parties involved.  “Accountable” refers to knowing who is handling the equipment each step of the way and is used to identify responsibility for the assets.  “Transparency” refers to knowing what assets are handled and how they are managed throughout the process.  If at any time during the transfer of assets it is not clear who is handling them or what is happening to them, then you have a breakdown in the chain of custody.  The more details shared about the transfer of assets, the more transparency you have. 

To make the chain of custody secure, additional elements to protect the integrity of the assets throughout the entire handling process are essential. Cascade uses a multi-layer approach to add these security elements to our chain of custody process. If you use Cascade to pickup, inventory, package and haul away your IT assets for further processing at a Cascade facility, you benefit from the following features:

  • Only Cascade employees handle your equipment – we do not contract out our domestic processing services (unless agreed to in writing – see the following section on 3rd parties). When you use our staff, you have an accountable chain of custody with less hands involved. In addition, our employees are:
    • Professionally trained in IT Asset Disposition and security - we’re not just movers, we know IT equipment and how to handle it. Each staff member attends at least annual company security trainings, has signed confidentiality agreements, and provides a written acknowledgement of Cascade’s Information Destruction Instruction Manual;
    • Background checked at hire and every three years - Cascade uses a third party security firm to verify employment history and past criminal records. No person convicted of a financial (e.g., theft, burglary, robbery or larceny), honesty (e.g., fraud) or computer crime (e.g., hacking) can be employed by Cascade. In addition, select employees undergo annual FBI background checks and have achieved a “High” security status with the U.S. government;
    • Issued photo IDs and wear Cascade logo clothing for easy identification;
      successfully screened at hire and during other events to ensure they are drug-free; and,
    • Bonded - insured up to $1 million per theft or loss.

  • Cascade employees can inventory and provide a receipt of assets prior to removal – Cascade takes title to and responsibility for your assets when both parties sign off on the inventory transfer and the equipment is loaded in our vehicle. It is a clear and direct transfer of your equipment to start the chain of custody process. When equipment is received at a Cascade facility, an inventory quality control process is performed to confirm receipt of assets at the Cascade facility. These assets are then tracked to final disposition (demanufactured for recycling, or refurbished for reuse) by Cascade.
  • Equipment is always kept in a locked Cascade vehicle whenever it is not being actively loaded. The lock stays on the vehicle while in transit or when stopped. While other customer equipment may be combined on a truck route (unless a customer requires a dedicated pickup), the contents are always locked unless a Cascade employee is actively loading other equipment onto the truck. The equipment is then unloaded at a secure Cascade facility for further processing. These facilities include access controls, video surveillance and alarm monitoring to protect our inventory.
  • Cascade is responsible for equipment during pickup and transit. Our $5 million of insurance covers damage and loss to the equipment, and well as the loss of data. Cascade’s Errors & Omissions insurance includes breach notification and remediation coverage, in the event of a data loss. In the over 15 years Cascade has been in business, we have not had any data breaches.

Cascade’s “Secure Chain of Custody” refers to work involving a clear inventory and transfer of assets from our customer at pickup using Cascade employees and vehicles to transport the equipment to one of our secure processing facilities for final disposition.


About Third Party Transit:
Cascade also offers to contract out pickup services using either third party staff and/or vehicles. This can be less expensive than other modes of transportation, but there are some limitations to the ability of these logistics services to be secure or to offer a chain of custody. Cascade does provide some services to help mitigate risks when contracting out for pickup and transportation, such as:

  • Using Cascade audited carriers and contractors – Cascade has identified certain “Tier 1 Carriers” and “Processing Partners” who have undergone a due diligence review by Cascade and have been recognized as service providers that meet essential security and quality requirements. These carriers and partners are accountable to Cascade and we work to ensure they meet our customer’s requirements.
  • Attaching locks and tamper evident seals on trucks – Cascade provides these locks and seals. Either Cascade or the customer will take a picture of the seal at shipment and receipt to determine whether the seal was compromised and the trailer doors may have been opened. While locks and seals cannot completely prevent the tampering of a load, they do a very good job to deter people from accessing the equipment. By taking an inventory of the assets at shipment and receipt, Cascade and our customers can provide evidence that the load was delivered intact.
  • Shipping items in locked containers – Cascade offers lockable media rolling carts and plastic Gaylord boxes with locking lids which can be used to transport equipment and mitigate the risk of loss during transit.

If Cascade has reason to believe equipment shipped to Cascade by a third party was damaged to affect its resale value, tampered with, or lost in shipment, Cascade will contact the carrier to trace the chain of custody and investigate the incident. Cascade provides these details to our customers so that we can jointly determine the appropriate resolution.