One of the most important responsibilities of a business is to protect and securely handle the data and information accumulated over time. Not only is that information precious and delicate because it has private data on the business, but it also contains the information and details of customers. As a business owner, you need to know why data destruction is important to businesses and how you should handle it.
To help you understand why data destruction is important to businesses, you need to understand what makes it a responsibility rather than a strong suggestion. First and foremost, there is a legal requirement on both federal and state levels to protect your data and, by extension, the confidential information of your customers. Failure to do so can result in punitive action and expensive fines, in addition to your business losing its reputation and credibility. Your business’s data is always under constant threat, so proactive protection and prevention is necessary.
Classified Documents and Equipment
As to what counts as classified information, documents are obviously self-evident. Data that includes personal information or important details regarding your business’s inner workings is confidential. What you might not realize, however, is that there’s equipment that you need to treat with the same care and protection. Classified equipment includes any equipment that contains sensitive data, such as hard drives, computers, mobile devices, etc. With so much data being digitized these days, you’ll typically have hardware that needs to be disposed of securely.
Methods of Destruction
There are a few standard techniques for sensitive data destruction, like on-site shredding. Other methods include degaussing, physical destruction, and overwriting. Degaussing refers to using magnets on devices like hard disks to permanently damage the magnetic storage system, obliterating the data on the disk. Shredding and physical destruction are exactly what they sound like. Data is never safer than when it’s simply destroyed to the point that it’s unrecognizable and unrecoverable. Lastly, overwriting refers to erasing existing data with new data, a process that is deceptively difficult. To effectively and definitively erase sensitive data, you need specialist software that meets the standards of the National Cyber Security Centre.