In today’s world, data is everywhere, especially for businesses. Sensitive information is typically stored in computers, hard drives, data centers, and so many other places. Now imagine for a moment what would happen if all that data fell into the wrong hands. The consequences are endless. So how do you protect important data belonging to your customers, clients and employees and keep it from falling into the wrong hands? The answer is simple: dispose of data the right way, not the easy way.
The first and most important lesson to learn is that pressing delete does not mean files are gone for good. Many operating systems, file managers and other software provide a trapdoor where a file is not immediately deleted even when that action is requested. Instead, the file is moved to a holding area. Software products tend to do the same by automatically creating backup copies of files. And when you simply “clear” data, it is not permanently removed. It is deleted so that the data may not be reconstructed using normal system functions, however, the data may still be recoverable with special techniques.
Not to worry though. Depending on where and how sensitive data is stored, there are a few ways to permanently delete information so that it never falls into the wrong hands. Those tactics include:
On-Site Hard Drive Erasure: A mobile IT lab arrives at a location and performs hard-drive erasure by ensuring data is completely wiped before equipment ever leaves the site. A certified technician powers up each item and performs a three, four or seven-pass DOD overwrite (depending upon security requirements). At the end of the service, a certificate of destruction is provided to confirm data has been removed.
On-Site Hard Drive and Media Shredding: This is absolute destruction and physical shredding that is performed on- or off-site for all types of hard drives or media tapes.
Data Center Decommissioning: Decommissioning of an entire data center, which typically includes, tracking and auditing equipment and serial numbers, erasing hard drives, shredding media/drives, and disassembling hardware, racks and cages, equipment and furniture.
NSA Degaussing: Degaussing, the process of decreasing or eliminating a remnant magnetic field, can be used when data needs to be erased quick and inexpensively, without destroying the physical media such as shredding.
Need to make sure sensitive customer, client or employee data from your company is properly deleted? Guardian Data Destruction can help. Schedule a consult with us today.
Guardian Data Destruction has decades of experience in the field. We have helped thousands of clients properly dispose of data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Here’s a case study from a major client:
This project involved 350 personal computers (PCs) and more than 1,000 hard drives. Client requirements included certified hard drive destruction, IT asset removal and environmentally friendly recycling. This work had to be performed with complete accountability and certification. The PCs were located in multiple locations, on multiple floors and across many buildings. All work had to be completed with minimal interruption to the Client’s operations. Guardian Data Destruction removed all hard drives from the PCs, captured their serial numbers and loaded them into sealed, tamperproof containers. These containers were transferred to the GDD Mobile IT Lab that was parked at the customer location. Once inside the Mobile IT Lab, the drives were removed from the tamperproof containers, rendered inoperable and unreadable, and then repackaged in tamperproof containers for delivery to a shredding facility. The Client was able to witness the activities within the Mobile IT Lab from their offices via video link. All other IT assets, including system units and monitors, were serial number captured as they exited the building. All hard drives and IT assets were hauled by a bonded courier to the recycling center where the hard drives were shredded and other assets were processed in accordance with EPA recycling standards. The customer was supplied with full documentation, including asset transfer forms and Certificates of Destruction, Media Shredding and Recycling. The VAR met its Client’s needs in a highly cost effective and professional manner. In addition to being a profit center in its own right, the decommissioning process facilitated an end to end turnkey upgrade by the VAR, blocking other vendors from any involvement in this project at decommissioning pricing well below that available from PC manufacturers. The Client was delighted with the peace of mind and overall level of service delivered – including convenience, range of data destruction options, timeliness, conformance to industry, as well as government standards and the minimal disruption of their business operations.