Understanding data destruction: Select techniques and partners

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Mar 29, 2024 2:52:41 AM

In the modern digital age, data is more valuable than ever before, and huge amounts of data comes with tremendous responsibility....

In the modern digital age, data is more valuable than ever before, and huge amounts of data comes with tremendous responsibility. Countless companies gather and store a major amount of sensitive data for authentication, analysis, order tracking, and reporting. Protecting or destroying this crucial information is crucial due to the given number of cyberattacks affecting hundreds of thousands of consumers. Secure data destruction is often considered the last line of defense against a data breach. It is a process that removes or erases sensitive data permanently to safeguard information against hardware reuse risk. The process involves both digital and physical destruction methods.

Data destruction significance: Safeguarding your information

Businesses rely heavily on digital media for key business processes, such as business transactions, payments, key documents, business proposals, and important commercial aspects. Business owners depend on this data to keep track of income, expenses, inventory, and sales. This is why it is crucial to carefully dispose of the data at the end of its lifecycle and comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards. Companies planning to dispose of old hardware must consider proper steps for data erasure or destruction. They should also consider regulatory compliance and documentation requirements while destroying the data. With a data destruction policy in place, businesses can lower the risk of data breaches. Data destruction policies help ensure that the data is destroyed and meets compliance regulations, which not only lowers the risk of data breaches but avoids problems and issues later on.

Data destruction methods: Ensuring security and compliance

Several methods of data destruction exist that can be used to destroy data. These methods may not be successful and you need professional help. Let's explore which methods will work for your business.

  • Wiping: Data wiping is a method in which the data is overwritten from an electronic medium. This prevents others from reading it. To bring this into action, businesses need to physically connect a bulk wiping device to the device that needs to be wiped. This allows it to wipe media without losing storage capacity. This method is useful but can be time-consuming. 
  • Overwriting: The overwriting method is similar to data wiping. It is an inexpensive and easy method. It involves writing a random or set pattern of ones and zeroes over existing data. This method helps businesses reuse the same device. It also requires software tools to encrypt the data on devices, which makes it difficult to recover data.
  • Degaussing: This method completely destroys the data by eliminating the magnetism of the electronic device using a high-powered magnet. It is a quick and effective method for data destruction and can destroy a huge amount of data quickly. The only disadvantage of this method is that it destroys the hard drive’s interconnect equipment, which may prevent the device from being reused.
  • Physical destruction: Many organizations want to reuse their old or existing equipment but do not want the data anymore. In this case, the most efficient way is to physically destroy the data. It simply requires pulling out the hard drive and smashing it to bits and pieces using a hammer or similar tool. The success rate of this method is extremely high, but isn't sustainable and can cause conflicts when recycling old electronic media.
  • Shredding: This is similar to physical destruction and uses an industrial machine to destroy hard drives, solid-state drives, optical drives, smartphones, tablets and motherboards. Shredding is considered the most secure and cost-effective way to destroy data.

Secure data destruction by CXtec

When choosing an IT asset data destruction company, verify several essential elements, such as ensuring that the company provides a certificate of sanitization. This certificate helps organizations confirm data destruction per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines. A data destruction company also must provide documentation of a clear audit trail with proof of erased data. The company must follow standard guidelines  which should include proper insurance coverage. If the data is revealed, the company is held responsible.

As an experienced IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services provider, CXtec ensures top-level environmental standards while safeguarding data security in a sustainable manner. Our approach aims to extend product life, maximize value, and minimize environmental impact. Trust us with the final phase of your hardware lifecycle by following a smart strategy that prioritizes data protection, value extraction, and environmental responsibility.