Every company regardless of size and nature has some sensitive information or data that it would rather keep to itself. Some companies are more sensitive than others are. The best way to make sure information never leaks out is to destroy it completely once you no longer have use for it.
Data eradication is also necessary when you are transferring it from old systems to new ones. You do not want any of your old computers to go with that sensitive information as they are being shipped off for recycling. Here are some steps you can take to destroy data safely and completely:
Categorize the information according to sensitivity and associated risk
The first you want to do is categorize your organization’s media by confidentiality level. This makes a lot of sense for both the smooth running of your IT department, and for your overall strategy for data security.
Determine the level of confidentiality of your data according to the potential risk in case of a data leak. Apart from fees and fines associated with leaking confidential client and employee information, a company should contemplate the risk of revenues forfeited from losing future business, and/or expenses resulting from unwanted disclosure of company strategy and intellectual property.
Pick data eradication policies according to destination of media and life cycle stage
Once your company has classified media accordingly, and understands the level of risk, it can then set data eradication policies based on where the media belongs in the life cycle stage.
For instance, data that the company is putting back or transferring into the organization’s system, should have a different eradication standard than media contained in hard drives that the company intends to retire or dispose off.
For example, your company may opt for highly confidential or sensitive data destroyed physically on location before disposing the hard drives. The data’s life cycle stage will also influence the destruction technique the company will choose.
Approve and make use of suitable data destruction for each media type
Companies need to approve and acquire physical as well as software tools to carry out different levels of data eradication. The company can opt to manage these tools in-house or they can utilize the services of third-party vendors for specific functions.
Whatever the case, the services need to comprise of steps to verify the success of these tools in destroying the data. It is essential to have several different tools because no one technique is universally successful.