Everything you need to know about data security, destruction, and recycling
Over the past few years, digital security has become a paramount issue. Not only have been a number of instances of data security breaches, but those numbers continue to rise. To give some weight to this concept, we have included a few metrics for your:
Now think about all the old computer equipment, data containing devices, hard drives, memory, and RAM that your company goes through. Its a lot right? These can contain sensitive information, maybe pin numbers, passwords, financial information, scans, emails and so much more.
Many (and we mean many) electronics recycling companies are going to sell your electronics without any consideration for these things. Electronics recyclers are notorious for selling equipment harvested from old equipment. This is because parts of e waste are very valuable for re-selling. The risk of course is that information will not be cleared and in fact can be breached.
Why Data Destruction is Important
One thing that is important to understand about data destruction is that after the process, the material is still recycled. Hard drives, ATM machines, or anything destroyed still is put in downstream commodity flows for recycling. The only difference is that many recycler will not clear your data from computers before they send it out for resale. That means that anyone can access important files to you or your business.
How Does It Work?
Hard Drive destruction requires a few steps for assured data security and peace of mind. First is the way that the material enters a facility. Generally it should be on secure trucks and enter a facility secured with video surveillance and state-of-the-art security.
Depending on the nature of the hard drives the commodity flows are slightly different. If the hard drives are encased in computers, staff members often dismantle them, laying confidential data aside for immediate destruction. Then the items are shredded. To ensure that the data is deleted beyond any form of repair, the facility typically should destroy things within 72 hours. Furthermore, certificates of destruction should be handed out.
What Steps Should I Take To Stay Secure?
Always tour a facility before hand. Understand the commodity flow from where the old data containing devices might be generated to where they are ultimately recycled. Understand the regulations for a complete destruction and not partial destruction.
Important: Make sure destruction companies are not engaging in re-sale. Not only is this a sketchy business, but it also is difficult to track what they have destroyed and what they have sold.