The 5 Guidelines of Hard Drive Destruction

December 20, 2017 0

Businesses are constantly using technology, both new and old, to manage their workload.

More data is managed by computers today than ever before, and a great deal of confidential information exists within these systems. Employees today use their computers to manage clients, accounts, emails, work on documents, transfer files, and access confidential information.

Most businesses employ a full time IT specialist to manage the software and servers employees need access to, while also monitoring the security of their companies systems. When hardware has run its course though, most of the time they simply delete the data from the drive and either resell it or throw it away.

In reality, simply deleting the data from the hard drive before disposing of it isn’t all that secure or effective, and reselling old drives introduces a serious risk to the security of a business’s data.

1. Deleted data is easily recovered

In truth, deleting data from your hard-drive doesn’t really delete it at all. Deleting a specific file simply deletes the pathway to that file, while simultaneously allowing your system to write over that data at a later date, as needed.

While this may prevent you from accessing it by simply searching for it, with a bit of know-how, or one of the several programs easily searched for, you can recover that data in seconds if it hasn’t been overwritten.

Maybe your company is aware of this, however, and has opted to use data destruction software. Unfortunately…

2. Data Destruction software isn’t perfect

Software solutions for total data destruction are not only unreliable, but they are incredibly time-consuming. A single large hard drive can take multiple days to securely erase if sufficient data exists on it, and often times these programs can fail in the midst of their work. Beyond even that, it’s difficult to ensure that lingering data has been completely removed.

While software solutions provide a more reliable solution to consumers, they aren’t efficient for large quantities of data across multiple drives.

3. Why data destruction is important

A single hard drive possesses a lot of information. Besides confidential documents, often times users will save other high-risk data, both business-related and personal.

Users are commonly found to have saved passwords, social media information, banking information and credit card information on their computers. Users also have a tendency to reuse passwords they’ve already used. This means that if an employee’s data becomes compromised, it could be a window into accessing confidential business data. Hard drives also possess saved Wi-Fi passwords, which is another vector of attack to be concerned about.

If simple deletion isn’t enough, software isn’t reliable and all of this information has the potential to be stolen, what’s the correct solution?

4. Complete physical destruction

Physically destroying a hard drive removes the possibility of data being compromised entirely. Simply breaking it apart, incinerating it or attempting a chemical solution won’t be enough, however. This is because most of the time, components with recoverable data will survive these methods, and with effort, this data could be recovered from the surviving components.

The only consistently reliable and predictable method available to render any drive entirely unrecoverable is to employ industrial grade destruction equipment. Using a hydraulic crusher or industrial shredder will destroy a drive such that no components survive in any meaningful capacity. While this may seem extensive, this is the only guaranteed way to eliminate data completely.

5. Call in the professionals

When secure data destruction is necessary, it’s best to leave it to the hard drive destruction professionals. These professionals with the correct experience and equipment will be able to eliminate any possibility of your data falling into the wrong hands.