When the time comes to upgrade your computer hardware, or to relocate to new business premises, you are likely to be left with a number of unwanted computer assets. While the temptation may be to store these in a dark room somewhere, or to sell them quickly en masse, you should take care to protect assets which still contain large quantities of sensitive business data. Simply formatting the hard drive of a data-bearing asset, such as a PC or a Mac, is insufficient to ensure that data is eradicated completely. To protect your business from any costly and highly damaging data breaches, it is often necessary to engage a third party to carry out data destruction services in order to ensure that your data remains secure and that your business is protected.
What is Data Destruction?
Also known as data disposal, data destruction is the process of destroying data, whether it is electronic, physical or digital, from data storage devices such as hard drives and mobile devices. Following successful data destruction, data on the storage device will be completely inaccessible.
Using the data destruction process, data bearing devices (such as hard drives or mobile devices) are physically destroyed using methods such as data shredding or degaussing. Data shredding can be a labour intensive process, but it can also be done onsite using DataRaze, a highly secure product designed to place auditable and effective data destruction capabilities in the hands of IT professionals. Degaussing, on the other hand, works by removing or reducing the magnetic field of a hard drive, thus rendering the data within it irretrievable.
Data destruction uses mechanical processes to crush, chop and shred physical data into smaller pieces. The shredded material can be a maximum of 30mm, but can be shredded down to 6mm if required. These fragments are then sent off for further refinement, which completes the data destruction process. A fully qualified data destruction vendor will ensure that a record is kept of all shredded items for your own auditing purposes.
Why is Data Destruction Important?
Data destruction is a highly specialised task, and should only be undertaken by a qualified vendor, such as an IT asset disposal company. For legal and environmental reasons, and not to mention your own piece of mind, it is vital that your data is disposed of safely and responsibly. There have been numerous instances in recent years of data being improperly disposed of, and being recovered in unsafe locations, such as rubbish dumps. This is not only potentially harmful to the environment, but places the owners of the data-bearing assets at serious risk of a breach, something which few businesses can afford to risk with the upcoming implementation of the GDPR.
It is essential to remember that, even if your data storage devices are faulty, or have stopped working completely, the hard drive can usually be recovered, and the data stored within extracted. For this reason, data destruction is one of the most effective method of eradicating sensitive data from end of life devices.
Data Erasure – An Alternative to Destruction
While data destruction can be crucial to the protection of your business data and information, it is not the only method doing so. Data erasure achieves the same ends as data destruction, but through different means.
By using professional software such as Blancco, data may be erased from a device beyond the scope of data recovery. While the physical asset in this method remains intact, the data is erased securely. In some cases this can have added environmental and logistical benefits, as the devices can be reused or archived, rather than having to be physically disposed of. Software such as Blancco will also provide you with a full audit trail of any data erasure processes undertaken, ensuring your business and your data remains protected and secure on all sides.
With over 25 years industry experience, tier1 are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibility and legally.
Contact us today on 0161 777 1000 or visit https://www.tier1.com to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.