With each passing year, businesses, and the public in general, are becoming more dependent upon electronic storage methods due to the greater efficiency with which data can be stored,analyzed and subsequently found. This has led to vast amounts of sensitive information being contained within company servers, hard-drives and other types of media.
While paper shredders are a common place in offices today, and used extensively to destroy sensitive information contained in paper copy, the proper disposal of electronic data is still not considered to be a “main stream” concern at many businesses.
Did you know that simply erasing or sanitizing your hard drive does not guarantee that all of your private information is non-retrievable??
When trying to delete a file, the most common method employed by the average user is to “send” the file to the ‘Recycle Bin’, which is either “emptied” immediately or at some later date. At this point, it is believed that the file has been destroyed or erased from the computer, but in reality, it has just been hidden from the operating system. In industry parlance this is known as the the ‘Recycle Bin’ Expectations Gap. Permanently erasing data from an electronic hardware device is a more complicated process.
Considering whether a business is adequately prepared to dispose of its data is not just a concern
from a data security control standpoint, there is a potential financial and legal aspect to this area as well.
If a company does not ensure that its disposal of data is done properly, they are exposing themselves to financial injury, be it through fines for failure to comply with privacy/security regulations, accidentally placing trade secrets in third party hands, or lawsuits from customers/suppliers injured by having sensitive data fall into the wrong hands. As a result, implementing and executing a proper plan to dispose of data on all media types should be a major priority for all businesses today.
While some shortsighted companies may look at data destruction as an unnecessary expense, businesses cannot afford not to permanently destroy their data.You get what you pay for and it is imperative to select a reputable a business that specializes in destroying electronic data.