A company eventually will need to make certain the hard drives on their old equipment are properly destroyed. The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) has a voluntary certification program for companies who want to provide destruction services. Members of this organization are regularly audited to make certain they are maintaining NAID standards. Their methods have been developed by input from security professionals who have extensive experience in successful hard drive destruction.
According to an article in BBC News, “The only way to stop fraudsters stealing information from old computer hard drives is by destroying them completely, a study has found…it must be done with caution also because (they) contain environmentally harmful materials.”
Dangers of Compromised Data
There is probably more information about a company, and its customers on a company’s hard drives than most people can imagine. This means there is a very big chance of such information becoming compromised by identity thieves and more. This is information such as proprietary secrets, personnel information as well as data pertaining to customers and more. The disposal of a hard drive is essential to protect all this information.
Hard Drive Destruction Machines
Machines designed to crush memory platters of a hard drive will make certain information cannot be received from the hard drive. These machines need to be operated by security professionals. Many companies who offer hard drive destruction services will be able to pick up hard drives at a company’s location for destruction. Others will be able to bring the hard drive destruction machine to their customer’s business for on-site destruction. If a company picks up hard drives for destruction, they should provide the customer with a Certificate of Destruction.
Ineffective Conventional Methods
Many companies make the mistake of trying to remove data from hard drives using conventional methods. It’s important to understand that reformatting is a very ineffective method of removing data from a hard drive. As long as a hard drive can be spin, data can be retrieved from it. The best efforts may not be able to completely over write an entire hard drive. Defects in the hard drive, that aren’t easily detected, will cause this to happen. These defects are what enables information to be removed from it. A company puts their business at tremendous risk if they resell equipment with a hard drive that has not been destroyed. The destruction of a hard drive is the only way to make certain vital data is protected.
There are many companies who must comply with governmental regulations for handling data. In many cases the complete destruction of hard drives are required by law. Once a hard drive is destroyed, it eliminates all the potential costs involved with experiencing a data breach. A company that stores their hard drives is vulnerable for data theft. Destroying a hard drive saves space at a company’s location. It also eliminates the concern for any type of a data breach from old hard drives.