Why Data Destruction: Security and Protection
Data destruction is something that should not be taken lightly within your business or home. Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. We have people ask us all the time, why data destruction? When a breach in data occurs, it could mean hefty fines for business owners.
Although you may think it is a cost-effective solution to take care of your hard drives yourself, you risk data being retrieved and maliciously used. The only way to ensure that your data is securely erased is by taking your hard drives to a company that specializes in data destruction.
Consider this. A study conducted by IBM and the Ponemon Institute in 2016, on 383 companies from 12 different countries found the average total cost of a data breach to be $4 million. It’s threats like these that highlight why data destruction is so important.
Data Destruction: A Definition
Data destruction is a planned process to destroy data stored on hard disks, tapes, and other electronic media in such a manner that it can’t be accessed again. You cannot delete a file and expect it to be eliminated from your hard drive. Deleting something on your hard disk means that you can no longer see it but the information is still accessible.
When you use a data destruction method to get rid of data, it will be completely wiped clean and no one will be able to retrieve it.
Why Data Destruction?
Companies both big and small depend on electronic devices to run their business. The equipment generates data that needs to be securely protected. Once it reaches its end of life, it also needs to be destroyed in a secure manner. If you are wondering why data destruction, consider your secure information falling into the hands of a competitor. Trade secrets could be released, and this would be devastating to your brand.
Many companies have secret information that they do not want anyone to get ahold of. Your company is legally bound to ensure data destruction is conducted correctly. There are standards within the industry that must be followed to protect you, as well as your clients. You also have to consider the regions that you practice in, which may span globally.
While it seems like data destruction is a no brainer, studies have proven that 10% of all hard drives that are sold secondhand on the internet still contain personal information. However, it is not just individuals who forget to take care of this data.
Britain’s National Health Service Trust was fined almost $500,000 in 2012 because it sold electronic devices online that contained access to thousands of patient’s records. There are some things that you need to take into consideration when destroying your old data.
- Time – How much time would it take to efficiently destroy data on your devices and which methods will be the most efficient?
- Cost – Is it a viable option for your company to get rid of old equipment or will it be repurposed?
- Validation and certification – If your industry requires you to meet standards when destroying data, make sure you can obtain validation and certification.
The answers to these questions will help you choose the most effective method of data destruction.
What Are The Different Forms of Data Destruction?
There are many different methods that you can use to destroy data. However, DIY methods of data destruction are never going to be as secure as hiring a company to provide you with professional service. A company that focuses on data destruction will have standards in line and be able to supply you with documentation that the data was destroyed. Why data destruction? It is the safest way for a company to ensure their information does not fall into the wrong hands and cause issues for their business.
Here are some of the methods that you or a professional company may use to eliminate your sensitive material on your electronic devices.
- Wipe – Wiping data from a device can be a long process. It will involve overwriting data that is stored on your device so that it can no longer be read. However, with a wide variety of tools available on the market, data can still be recovered when using this method. This is typically accomplished by connecting the device to a bulk wiping system.
- Overwriting data – While overwriting is a form of data wiping, it is much more efficient. There will be a pattern of zeros and ones that take the place of the existing data. This pattern will not need to be random, and typically one pass will do the job. However, there are high-secure systems that will need multiple passes.
- Erasure – This method is another type of overwriting method. It is completed by destroying all data that is on a hard drive. When going through a reputable data destruction company, they will provide you with a certificate of destruction to prove the erasure was successful.
- Degaussing – This method will destroy the data with the use of a high-powered magnet. This magnet will interrupt the magnetic field within the electronic medium. This disruption will destroy all the data. It is an efficient and quick way to destroy data on a device that is housing loads of sensitive information.
- Physical destruction (drill/band/crush/hammer) – Many people would like to choose recycling as a means of getting rid of their old devices, but they are concerned with the information that the device may be housing. People have been known to remove the hard drive and destroy it by smashing it with a hammer. When causing enough physical damage the drive will not be recoverable. Rendering this an efficient method to destroy data.
- Shredding – Shredding an old hard drive is a physical means of destroying the device, as well as all the data on it. It is cost-effective, and efficient for devices that have both a hard drive and solid-state drive. Can also be a good choice for those wishing to destroy data on a smartphone, tablet, motherboard, thumb drive, credit card swiping device, and much more.
4 Myths About Data Destruction
Before you decide on a method of destruction and choose a professional company to help you securely destroy your data on your device, you must understand what is true and false about data destruction. Below you will find 4 myths and the truth behind data destruction and why it is important.
#1 Your Data is Unrecoverable
Criminals can easily retrieve data on erased hard drives, somewhat damaged hard drives or hard drives that are simply thrown away. Wiping the data on a hard drive does not guarantee the data is completely removed. Physical destruction using high-security data destruction machines can securely destroy and make any data unrecoverable.
#2 Avoid Hefty Fines
Businesses face heavy fines when they do not properly dispose of their data storage media. Each time there is a security breach, your business may end up losing thousands of dollars towards fines. Avoiding these fines is easy by using a professional data destruction company.
#3 Free Up Office Space
Storing old hard drives can take up valuable space in your workplace. Destroying these hard drives is not only time-consuming but risky if you are not using a high-security data destruction machine. To save time and free up office space quickly, you can enlist the help of a hard drive destruction company.
#4 Ensure Your Company is in Regulatory Compliance
A professional data destruction company is knowledgeable about regulations for destroying data storage media. It is their job to follow these laws and ensure your business remains compliant. This eliminates the worry of fines as well as ensuring your hard drives are properly disposed of according to the laws that apply to electronic data storage media.
Complete Removal of All Data
A data destruction company can ensure that all of the data on your data storage media is completely removed. They accomplish this by physically destroying the hard drives using a high-security media destroyer. This will render data on hard drives unrecoverable. This means that data cannot be retrieved even when using modern forensic techniques.
Contact us today to learn about why data destruction is so important. We can securely destroy all your sensitive data storage media and ensure your company is in regulatory compliance.