Why Secure Data Destruction is Necessary
Many people fail to realize until it’s far too late that the term “data security” doesn’t just refer to data as it is being stored, but also how it is properly disposed of to help make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. According to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute and IBM, the average total cost of a single data breach “incident” in 2015 rose to $3.8 million dollars. This itself represented a stunning 23% increase over the cost from just a few years earlier in 2013.
To make matters worse, every piece of information lost or stolen during an incident essentially equates to roughly $154. When you begin to think about the gigabytes of sensitive information that are stored on even a single hard drive, it’s easy to see why these types of costs can be so devastating to small businesses in particular.
What is Secure Data Destruction?
When you highlight a file on a computer and select “delete,” that file isn’t necessarily gone forever – it can still be (easily) recovered by someone who knows what they’re doing. As a result, secure data destruction comes into play, which is the process of not just removing but completely destroying data stored on electronic media so that it cannot be accessed in an unauthorized way. Examples of electronic media would include tapes, hard disk drives, flash-based storage drives and more.
Situations That Require Secure Data Destruction
As a general rule of thumb, ANY situation that involves the removal of confidential or otherwise sensitive information will require secure data destruction to protect a business, its employees and ultimately its customers from harm. If a particular client were to leave a business, for example, those records would no longer be of any use to that organization. In the “old days” when we still lived in a world of paper, those documents would go through a shredder – probably several times – to help make sure they didn’t fall into the wrong hands. Financial information and other account records could severely damage that client should they be compromised, which is what secure data destruction techniques are designed to prevent.
Another situation where secure data destruction would be necessary is anywhere federal laws or other regulations require you to do so. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, for example, has specific rules regarding how and where the education records of students can be stored and how those records must be disposed of when they outlive their usefulness. HIPAA and other federal regulations have similar provisions with regards to healthcare and electronic health records (EHR) in particular.
There are typically three main types of secure data destruction that people have to concern themselves with for the best results. The first involves “clearing” the media if possible, which means that a series of software-based techniques are used to sanitize and completely eliminate data in a way that prevents them from being recovered. Another is called “purging” the data, which uses a series of physical techniques to render the information on the drive unrecoverable even though advanced methods. The final involves destroying the physical media so that both it and the information contained on it cannot be used again, an example of which would be physically destroying a hard disk drive to the point where it cannot be put back together under any circumstances.
Bass Computer Recycling offers secure data destruction including data sanitation and hard drive shredding. Many precautions are taken to ensure that your data is handles and destroyed properly including:
- All trucks are equipped with a GPS transportation tracking device
- Security sealed trucks from customer’s location to our secure facility
- 24-hour video surveillance at our facility
- Ability to schedule a live viewing of drive destruction online or request a digital copy of the destruction
- Certificate of Data Destruction provided for all hard drives
If you’d like to find out more information about data security, or if you’re looking for additional information about secure data destruction and related services in general, please contact Bass Computer Recycling today.