Data destruction is one of the most vital tasks in securing business information and data. It aims to secure data that is no longer needed by making it inaccessible to unauthorized people. But data destruction is more than hitting the delete button or doing a quick hard drive format. You need a professional data destruction service to ensure data desertion is complete and total, with no possibility of retrieval. How can you choose a competent data destruction service?
Ask About their Process
When planning data destruction, you must choose whether you want to keep the storage media or destroy it together with the data. This choice will depend on the sensitivity of the data. For example, you might want physical destruction of a hard disk holding medical records, but you can keep a hard disk holding parking lot CCTV footage.
If you choose physical data destruction, the data destruction service must show a process that destroys both data and storage media. Professionals like SPW data destruction services follow internationally acceptable standards like National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) standards.
A credible data destruction process should include the following steps:
- Change of custody of the storage media – This step should have a chain of custody record showing details of storage media handed over and the details of all handlers of the media.
- Data erasure – This step involves data wiping with software tools or a degausser. The data destruction service should have an erasure verification method
- Physical data destruction – Storage media marked for physical destruction is destroyed using one or several methods, including shredding, crushing, and melting. This step must also be verifiable.
- Issuance of a data destruction certificate
Ask About Data Destruction Verification
You must insist on data destruction verification checks because there is a real risk of data breaches from the storage media that is not handled properly. In addition, advanced forensic tools have made it possible to recover data from storage media fragments.
An erasure verification report should show key details, including:
- Storage media brand, model and serial number
- Storage media size
- Data wiping method deployed
- Number of wiping passes done on the storage media
- Number of inaccessible bad sectors
Apart from showing the erasure report, the data destruction service should have methods of verifying physical destruction. The fragments can be weighed and compared to the original weight. There should be video recording and photos of the process.
Ask About Data Destruction Certifications
You need data destruction certification to show your data destruction services are credible and verifiable. These certifications are important if you are legally bound to show that your data destruction follows set standards and guidelines.
A professional data destruction service should offer an industry-recognized certification. For example, SPW data destruction issues NAID AAA certification. This certification is proof that a data destruction service is properly qualified for data destruction. It also shows the service has been vetted and found compliant with the strictest information and data privacy laws.
Ask About Onsite Data Destruction
The best assurance that your data is safe is when it does not leave your control. Therefore, even with the chain of custody passing on to the data destruction service, they should be under your supervision. Ideally, the chain of custody should be as short as possible.
Onsite data destruction gives you greater assurance because the storage media remains under your custody for as long as possible. They remain under lock and key, and you turn them over only to the technician doing the data destruction. You can remain physically present as highly sensitive data is destroyed.
Onsite data destruction leaves no room for nefarious activities. It is hard for the data destruction technician to copy the data onto other storage media or make any other unauthorized backups. You can also control the number of eyes that see highly confidential information.
Ask About Qualifications
It is important to find out the data destruction service is technically capable of competent data destruction. Technically capable services have certifications from internationally recognized organizations. For example, SPW data destruction has several certifications:
- National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) member
- BLANCCO Gold Partner for Secure Data Erasure
- WIPE DRIVE Security Software for Permanent Deletion
You must ask about the technical proficiency of the technicians handling the data destruction. What are their qualifications, and how well do they understand the sensitivity of the data they are handling? You need to know their background if they are handling highly confidential information.
You also need to see a background check to ensure your data is in safe hands. It takes only a minute to copy huge amounts of sensitive data. Therefore, you must be sure that the people accessing your data are trustworthy even in the slightest time.
Data destruction is a vital information security task that every business must do to safeguard business data or private client data. For competent data destruction, work with a carefully vetted data destruction service like SPW data destruction services.