Secure Data Destruction Methods
This is one of our most popular FAQs when we are contacted by a client as a company or organisations data is of complete paramount . If the data falls into the wrong hands this could be disastrous.
We have complied a list of the most effective methods of secure data destruction & removal which are currently being exercised in the industry.
The list also advises which methods we use as a business and as to why we implement these tried and tested methods over and over again.
Secure Data Destruction
Data destruction refers to the process of rendering data stored on various forms of electronic media completely unreadable and inaccessible for unauthorized purposes. It encompasses the secure removal of data from any data-bearing device, recognizing that only specific devices within an asset contain sensitive information. Proper and professional handling of these assets is crucial to mitigate the risk of data breaches, which can severely damage a company’s reputation and result in significant financial penalties.
By ensuring the correct and professional management of data-bearing devices during the data destruction process, organizations can safeguard sensitive information, maintain compliance with regulations, and protect themselves from the potentially severe consequences associated with data breaches.
Software Destruction / Data Overwriters
As an IT Recycling company, our primary objective, like other IT disposal companies, is to promote the reuse, refurbishment, and resale of all IT assets. By doing so, we strive to prevent electrical WEEE waste from being disposed of in landfills, while also generating financial benefits for our company.
When you use your device, data is written onto the platter of your hard drive. This data can range from important Excel documents you’ve been working on to HR files containing employees’ personal information. If a file is deleted from your desktop, the space it occupied on the hard drive is marked as available. However, the file itself still exists on the hard drive until that specific portion of the drive is overwritten with new data.
The data overwriting method involves writing zeros or other specific patterns of data to the entire drive, followed by the deletion of this overwritten data. This process is repeated multiple times, making it extremely difficult or virtually impossible to recover any previous data that was stored on the drive. By thoroughly overwriting the drive multiple times, the original data becomes irretrievable, ensuring a higher level of data security.
Data overwriters are indeed widely recognized as one of the most common and preferred methods for secure data destruction. This method is utilized by many organizations, including ourselves, to ensure that sensitive data cannot be recovered. However, in cases where the data-bearing asset is faulty or has low capacity, and it is not possible to verify the successful completion of a secure data overwrite, the asset will be physically destroyed. This additional measure guarantees that the data is irretrievable, providing an extra layer of security.
At Chaps IT Recycling we us Blancco, which provides certification from an external company that the NCSC approved method of data destruction has been carried out on any data media.
Physical Destruction - Degaussing
Degaussing is a traditional method used on hard drives to scramble the magnetically stored data, similar to data deletion programs. A degausser is a device that erases data by reducing or eliminating the magnetic information on your equipment.
However, degaussing presents certain challenges. To carry out the degaussing process effectively and accurately, the destruction company must have precise knowledge of the magnetic field of each data-bearing asset being degaussed. This requirement makes degaussing more complex and potentially less reliable compared to using software overwrite methods.
Due to the inability to guarantee 100% effectiveness of the data destruction method, we do not employ degaussing as a viable option for our operations.
Physical destruction and shredding is a straightforward method that involves shredding the data-bearing asset into tiny pieces. This process damages the platters found in mechanical hard drives and the chips that store data in SSD drives.
This method is widely employed by IT recycling companies due to its efficiency in processing hard drives. By reducing the hard drives to small fragments, akin to using a paper shredder, it becomes virtually impossible to reassemble or recover any data from them.
However, one limitation of this method is the challenge of recovering the precious metals contained within the hard drives after shredding. While physical destruction ensures data security, it makes it more difficult to extract and recycle valuable materials from the devices.
At Chaps IT Recycling, we use a hard drive Punch ensuring the platters are physically destroyed yet the drives remain intact allowing recovery of the presure metals and ensuring the data cannot be recovered.
Physically destroying a drive is sometimes a must when the software methods fail, this could be down to a faulty hard drive leading to the uncertainty of if the data has 100% securely removed or the event a hard drive is simply too old and not worth processing this method will be favoured.
You can also learn more about out secure data destruction services by clicking here
The next time you find yourself upgrading your IT infrastructure or needing to dispose of redundant IT assets, we would be delighted to offer our professional and complimentary services to ensure complete and secure data destruction. Give us a call, and our team will be more than happy to assist you with your data disposal needs. We understand the importance of safeguarding your data and maintaining compliance, and we are dedicated to providing you with a reliable solution.