The following article outlines important questions a business or individual should consider before hiring a data destruction company. The list below is a reprint from an article published by Network World of the 13 characteristics potential customers should consider.
How to Choose a Data Destruction Company
- How well does the service understand the various government guidelines or security classifications regarding data destruction?
- Does the company perform data destruction as a primary business or as an adjunct to what it is doing already (metal recycling)?
- Do you need a Certificate of Destruction outlining how and when the destruction took place? If so, can the service provide that for you?
- What process does the company use to ensure a strong chain of custody for your data once it leaves your possession? Does the service ever outsource portions of this work to other subcontractors or third parties?
- Can you observe the destruction of your data while it’s in the service’s care?
- How does the service recycle its final byproducts (if it recycles at all)?
- If it’s important for you to know who is handling your data, what background checks and training does the service do, and what confidentiality agreements does it have with its employees?
- How are the service provider’s facility and operations secured from unauthorized access?
- Has the service done work for the government before? What references from other clients can it provide?
- Is the service open to spontaneous visits or audits of its operations and facilities? What independent audits or spot checks does it already perform during the course of business?
- What backup plan, if any, does the facility have to protect your data in the event of an emergency (for example, power going out during destruction)?
- What other logs or reports can the service provide about the destruction process?
- If it’s important to you, can the service track asset numbers, serial numbers or other media information, and does it time-stamp its associated destruction activities?