What to know before disposing your business data

If you’re keen to dispose sensitive data to start afresh, this is what you need to know before disposing them. 

When you think of IT security, secure data destruction is usually an afterthought. By smashing up end-of-life hardware with a hammer in hand or a quick disk reformat, no longer guarantees protection from the risk of data breaches, which could land you in hot water further down the line.

A recent study showed that 60 per cent of computers on the second-hand market, which were discarded by businesses, still contained sensitive data. Like obtaining, using and storing data, information should always be disposed of securely too, not matter how sensitive.

A do-it-yourself approach to data disposal may seem appealing in the absence of a IT department, but there is much more to information destruction. From official risk assessments to destruction certificates, the Data Protection Act details appropriate technical and organizational measures should be taken to avoid unauthorized and unlawful processing of data.

Other methods of destruction, such as off-the-shelf data destruction software don’t guarantee security either and can prove expensive in the long run. Whether destroyed in-house or outsourced, an information security policy should be in place, which covers data erasure and hardware disposal procedures. For more information, speak to one of our records management experts near you.