May 29, 2017
Did you know that the safest way to deal with an old hard drive is to physically destroy it? So knowing the best way to destroy a hard drive is critical.
Most organisations and individuals today store a lot of confidential information on hard drives, flash drives, optical media, mobile phones, and other equipment. But privacy laws and legislation around the world require that all workplaces follow specific data security and disposal requirements for confidential information.
Research has shown that some common practices with unwanted hard drives – throwing equipment away in the waste, stockpiling computers, and erasing data using various different methods – are actually increasing the risk of a data breach. Here’s a quick review of why they are risky.
Just like paper documents that contain confidential data must be securely shredded before they’re recycled, equipment that stores digital information must be securely destroyed as well. Physically destroying hard drives and electronic media ensures information is unrecoverable.
All workplaces are encouraged to carry out regular clear-outs of storage facilities. The mobile workforce should be encouraged to bring their old devices for secure destruction too.
A professional information destruction partner will provide specialised destruction methods that can be tailored to workplace requirements. Industrial grade shredding equipment slices hard drives into small pieces and destroys all parts and components. Crushing services punch permanent holes through hard drives, destroying the internal platters where data is stored.
The third-party provider should have a secure chain of custody for end-to-end security, keeping track of hard drives and other equipment it destroys and providing an itemised Certificate of Destruction for proper record-keeping.
After destruction, materials should be recycled with approved partners for environmental compliance and to reduce carbon footprint.