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Improper Handling of Hard Drives Puts You At Real Risk

Many companies have abandoned paper records for the speed and organization that the digital world offers. Technology has vastly improved efficiency and workflow but has also created new security vulnerabilities for organizations to defend against.

When companies upgrade their technology, they inevitably end up with old hard drives containing years’ worth of sensitive data. What happens next is critical in making sure you and your organization are protected.

Hard drive shredding is the only way to make data 100% unrecoverable.

While there are methods that offer the ability to erase data prior to hard drive disposal, there is no guarantee that the information is irretrievable.  In many cases, personal information can be recovered after a hard drive has been erased. In a 2017 study conducted by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), 40 percent of information-bearing devices resold in publicly-available resale channels contained personally identifiable information (PII).  A simple browser search for recovering information from an erased hard drive will provide dozens of results with methods to recover erased data.

Plenty of unsavory players are willing to spend the time and energy to recover useful files, passwords, and other confidential information. Because the only foolproof solution is physical destruction, this is the best route for hard drives that have been upgraded or are no longer needed.  The only way to make sure your files are gone forever is to shred the hard drives.

At DataShield, we shred hard drives into pieces and recycle them in accordance with local and state laws. When your old hard drives are totally destroyed, it’s impossible for someone to retrieve valuable and confidential information from them.

Data breaches have legal consequences.

Every organization has a responsibility to protect the personal data of its employees and clients. If that information is compromised through the improper disposal of a hard drive, the fallout has serious ramifications.  Not only can personal information be exposed subjecting those affected to identity theft but your business can suffer greatly in terms of reputation.  In addition to these negative outcomes, the regulatory environment has only become more robust in terms of penalties and fines.   You can expect litigation that carries with it significant out of pocket costs.

For organizations that must follow HIPAA, GLB, FACTA or other privacy regulations, failing to destroy hard drives can also leave them vulnerable to noncompliance lawsuits. Hard drive destruction is the only certain way to stay totally compliant.

Responsible data security builds trust.

When employees and customers know their information is safe, your trustworthiness and reputability grow. It takes time and effort to build positive relationships in a community and placing that at risk by not taking care of information-bearing devices is simply not worth it.   Researching a certified, industry expert is the best method to save your business from an embarrassing and debilitating breach. 

Businesses should vet all vendors, ensure there is an unbroken chain of custody and require proof of destruction through a detailed Certificate of Destruction after the service is complete.  These steps will increase the chances that your information is destroyed and your image remains positive.

Hard drive shredding is simple and convenient.

At DataShield, we want to make data security an easy process for your business. We offer to drop off and pick up and can shred at your place of business or at our secure facility. Both methods are NAID certified and come with a Certificate of Destruction listing the serial number of each hard drive destroyed.

Something as vital as security shouldn’t be a hassle, so DataShield makes data destruction as convenient as possible. To learn more about DataShield’s data destruction capabilities and our other security offerings, contact the DataShield team.


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