Businesses are generating huge amounts of data, internally related to the business and its employees, and externally related to clients and business partners. This data needs to be secure to protect your privacy and safety.
Hackers are increasingly sophisticated. At the same time, privacy laws have become tighter, with businesses forced to take more responsibility for the data they handle. It’s no surprise then that the topic of data destruction has started to crop up more frequently in conversations about cybersecurity. In 2022, it is more important than ever to partner with professional data handlers like SPW data destruction to enforce data security.
What Are the Threats of Unsecured Data?
More often than not, critical files (like credit card numbers) can fall into the wrong hands through unsecured data storage media. Data breaches and their resulting losses of sensitive information are on the rise.
The lucrativeness of stolen data means cybercrime and data breaches will only continue to grow as a threat. That’s why it’s important to take steps to securely erase data to protect your most important files from being stolen or destroyed.
What Is Secure Data Destruction?
Secure data destruction is a term that’s used to describe a process of destroying digital information or media so that it can’t be recovered. Secure data destruction involves several steps, including clearing space on drives and overwriting data, or scrubbing, to make sure it’s unrecoverable.
Once the information has been scrubbed, then methods such as degaussing or physical shredding can be employed to prevent people from trying to recover it. The goal of secure data disposal is to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access; for example, if someone were attempting to gain access by retrieving old computer systems containing customer records.
Why Do You Need To Destroy Data?
There are several compelling reasons to do secure data destruction:
- Legal Compliance– You must comply with data privacy laws like the GDPR, which enforce the protection of sensitive customer information. Data destruction protects your business from potential lawsuits and fines associated with a data breach.
- Protect sensitive business information – information like emails or financial documents can be accessed when mixed with unencrypted files and folders on your system. Secure data destruction wipes away any trace of those files or folders, so they can never be accessed again by mistake. It ensures that you are meeting your obligation to protect business secrets and intellectual property.
- Avoid data breaches – In today’s world, where hackers are always looking for new ways to access sensitive information, it’s vital to protect your company’s data. Hackers can find ways to access your system and steal information by using unsecured data storage media. Secure data destruction ensures that any stolen files or folders cannot be accessed again.
- Enable Recycling – If you need to donate computing equipment, you must ensure there is no data on the equipment moving out. You can also refurbish this equipment for use in other departments, and destroy the data that the new users are not authorized to access.
What Secure Data Destruction Methods Are Available in 2022?
There are different data destruction methods; some leave the storage media usable while others make it unusable. Professionals like SPW data destruction use the following methods:
- Overwriting – overwriting files or other storage media with random patterns of ones and zeros to prevent recovery of previous data by deleting or obscuring it so that it cannot be read. The number of times that a file must be overwritten depends on how secure one wants to be (the more times, the more secure).
- Encryption – This method encrypts files so that they cannot be read without a key or password, making them useless if stolen by an unauthorized party who would not have access to said key or password.
- Degaussing – This involves applying a strong magnetic field to a storage device, such as a hard drive or floppy disk, causing it to become magnetized and thus unusable. The only downside of degaussing is that it does not work on all devices; for example, optical media are immune to degaussing.
- Physical Destruction – destroying hardware such as hard drives, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, etc., by shredding them into small pieces; grinding them down; melting them; etc., so that they are no longer useful for storing information and cannot be reused for any purpose whatsoever.
Why You Need Proof of Data Destruction
Today, proof of data destruction is a badge of trust you can show your customers to give them confidence in your data handling capacity. You also need this proof if your industry demands it if your business is subject to regular data audits.
Data security is one of the hottest topics in information security in 2022 and will remain relevant for the foreseeable future. As a business, you must implement secure data destruction methods to protect business and client data. You need a partner like SPW data destruction to ensure this crucial data security task is done professionally.