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How Secure Data Destruction Helps Safeguard Your Business

Data is King

In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s impossible to function, let alone grow, without centering data in your best practices. Secure data destruction is an essential part of those best practices.

Businesses are required to track the various details affecting operations on a daily basis. From sales data, operational costs, and client contact information to website traffic.

Organizational performance and successful marketing campaigns are both dependent on data. The ability to make needed changes and reach the right customers relies on keeping track of what you’ve already done.

The operating system software and hardware which facilitates and stores that information flow is the heart of most modern organizations. Everyday tasks are increasingly monitored and tracked. Consequently, the amount of data generated continues to grow rapidly.

In other words, we are awash in a sea of global data.

Secure Data Destruction hard drive

Data Security

Often, the data stored and utilized by an organization includes both proprietary information and sensitive customer details. Due to its potential value to third parties, this sort of data is particularly vulnerable to targeted breach.

The news is awash in stories of major retail chains or credit reporting agencies suffering the unthinkable. Their protective digital walls failed, and bad actors breached the data fortress. As a result, they acquired the private information of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of customers.

Such security breaches can result in fines, lawsuits, and above all a loss of consumer confidence. Consequently, this damages reputations and destroys brands.

Most companies invest heavily in secure storage to keep their data from falling into the wrong hands. They continue to jump through a series of digital hoops to stay one step ahead of hackers.

But what happens when the IT assets – the equipment used to store data – need to be upgraded or retired?

Secure Data Destruction

What happens when you have redundant IT equipment? For example, you’ve upgraded or moved storage to the cloud. Or perhaps you no longer use the asset in a way that’s cost effective.

You don’t have room to store these unwanted assets, and you need to move them off-site. However, you can’t let them go out the door before addressing the contained data.

For any modern business, destroying data at the end of its lifecycle is an essential best practice.

The process must be done correctly, because secure data destruction is critical on multiple levels. Incomplete or haphazard erasure is dangerous. Most importantly, it can leave corporate financial records, personal employee information, private client details and other sensitive data vulnerable to breach.

The aftermath of a breach can range from inconvenient to catastrophic. That’s why comprehensive erasure is every bit as important as safeguarding actively used assets. To prevent hefty fines and loss of reputation, businesses must render their data irretrievable.

Methods of Secure Data Destruction

There are several methods of data destruction, each with benefits and drawbacks. They include:

· Data Wiping

· Overwriting

· Shredding/Crushing

· Degaussing

Data Wiping

This process removes data from a hard drive or solid state drive via wiping software.

Pro: The core function of the device is retained for future use. Con: It’s time-consuming, which can be cost-prohibitive for large jobs.

Overwriting

This method overwrites the data on a hard drive following specific guidelines. These guidelines require a single pass with a fixed pattern of meaningless binary.

Pro: The process is widely used and effective Con: However, it consumes a considerable amount of time.

Shredding/Crushing

As the names suggest, this type of data destruction involves physical destruction. This can mean hard drive destruction, or destruction of other forms of electronic media. It breaks down the components into tiny pieces.

Pro: Data is irretrievable. The process can often be performed on site, which is beneficial when destroying sensitive data. It’s also often the most economical option. Con: It’s usually reserved for larger jobs.

Degaussing

This process demagnetizes electronic storage media using a potent magnetic field. Consequently, it eliminates any stored data.

Pro: Degaussing is fast and effective. Con: On the other hand, it comes with a relatively high environmental impact.

Secure Data Destruction Standards

The exponential growth of digital data created the need for comprehensive data sanitization/destruction standards. These policy standards regulate the acceptable procedures and techniques for data destruction.

· NIST SP 800:88: The most ubiquitous data destruction regulations across the globe. It specifies three techniques to achieve acceptable data sanitization: clear, purge, and destroy.

· DoD 5220:22-M: Also known as the US DoD data wipe technique. This method uses binary patterns of zeroes and ones in a random pattern to erase sensitive data.

Data Destruction Policy

Whether you have an entire data center or a single office computer, data destruction cannot be overlooked. It’s important for businesses to have standardized IT asset disposition policies in place. Simply deleting files before throwing out/recycling old equipment isn’t effective. As a result, your company can be held liable for any subsequent data breach.

An effective data destruction policy must also be in compliance with all industry, state, and federal regulations. If any of your contracts contain data storage or destruction specifications, not following them could create legal trouble.

Why You Should Consider a Certified Data Destruction Service

The potential fallout from improper data destruction leaves no room for error. Therefore, it’s wise to consider employing a certified ITAD company for your data destruction needs.

An ITAD vendor takes the problem of what to do with outdated IT assets from your hands. Whether it’s the latest data destruction software to on-site data destruction. They’re capable of deleting data or making sure its physically destroyed.

For example, they can send a truck to your location, pack up your equipment and transport it to their warehouse. This guarantees a secure chain of custody. Secure chain of custody means no information will be compromised.

In addition, they also ensure effective data erasure in accordance with all state and federal guidelines. Once complete, your business will be issued a certified data destruction certificate.

This certificate of destruction includes detailed information about the type and serial number of IT devices destroyed. It ensures the destruction process was compliant with all relevant laws and NIST 800-88 specifications.

Partnering with a certified ITAD vendor further guarantees that your used IT equipment won’t end up in a landfill. That’s because companies like GCI are committed to protecting the environment with the same strict standards that we use to safeguard your data.

We also maximize your revenue while minimizing risk by turning everything we collect into a stream of reusable components and commodities. In conclusion, GCI offers industry-leading integrity you can count on.

For more information, contact us

 or call 770-886-4200