Secure Information Disposal
The information you develop, store, manage and share is an organizational asset. It adds value to your business and, consequently, needs to be protected. It may contain the personal details of your customers, confidential financial data or proprietary secrets. It can be printed or written on paper, stored electronically, and shared by e-mail or other electronic means. Growing dependence on portable storage devices like tablets, cell phones, laptops and jump drives means you’re now even more vulnerable to security threats.
Each time equipment is upgraded, IT managers add to their collection of used, outdated and broken technology. It’s a continual cycle. When stock-piling is no longer an option, what does your company do? Surrendering it to an e-recycler or deposit it into one of those large community service donation bins on the street corner is an open invitation for the next user to impenetrate your valuable data. Why open the door to risk?
Why Does Security Matter?
Every day, headlines are filled with reports on cyber-attacks, information theft, credit card fraud and other costly data breaches. With computerized technology integrated into nearly every facet of our lives, concern for security is well founded. Every company should have a security program that includes guidelines for the decommissioning of electronic storage devices at the end of their useful life.
What Are My Options?
Overwrite, reformat and delete are the most obvious forms of electronic data disposal. These methods are cheap and easy, and work just fine assuming you don’t actually value your information. Overwrite, reformat and delete are considered unsecure erasure methods because they frequently fail leaving behind a trail of easily accessible data.
The NSA, or National Security Agency is the premier authority establishing guidelines for information disposal. As the world’s leading expert on cryptology and electronic communication systems, they are at the forefront of research to understand threat, secure data, support the military and protect the nation. Decommissioning media to NSA specifications leaves no trace of information recoverable as independent laboratory and forensic testing proves. So if you want the bulletproof solution, save yourself time wading through the lesser industry guidelines and follow the NSA.
NSA’s procedures for the destruction of digital information depends upon the medium to which the data is stored. For example, magnetic media such as traditional hard drives, cassette tapes and floppy disks are to be demagnetized with the use of a powerful degausser. Meanwhile, solid state media such as cell phones, tablets and thumb drives should be shredded (or ground) to a sand like texture.
It’s also important to recognize that not all destruction equipment is created equally. There is no one-size-fits all solution, and many products in the market don’t meet NSA regulations!
Choosing Equipment Isn’t Easy
With all the regulations, media formats and equipment types, it’s easy to not know where to begin. The good news is that one company is ready to discuss all this candidly with business owners. Founded in 1985 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Data Security, Inc.’s mission is to keep valued information secure by understanding, expertly designing and manufacturing high-quality information destruction equipment.
Everything they produce has been tested by and passed the NSA’s rigorous standards. Data Security, Inc. staff are fully educated in government regulations and corporate guidance, as well as electronic media formats and destruction methods. Best of all, they’ll offer their educational expertise regardless if you chose to purchase from them or not.
Your data is your most important asset. Make sure you’re not leaving it on the table for the “bad guys” to pick up.