The fact of the matter is, more and more companies are relying on hard drives to store their most vital intel than ever before. Companies are under constant scrutiny nowadays and need to stay abreast of the latest security safeguards and advancements to protect their employees, shareholders, and clients.
However, there may come a time when a company will need to destroy certain files or will need to destroy a hard drive that has reached the end of its data lifecycle. Fortunately, hard drive destruction can be used to ensure that the data on the drive cannot be accessed or stolen by competitors or cybersleuths.
Here, we will discuss some of the most shocking myths about hard drive destruction so that you do not commit a mistake that can cost your company thousands of dollars.
Recycling will Take Care of Everything
While most companies want to appear to be environmentally responsible, simply recycling your old hard drive may not suffice to get rid of all of the information on it. Instead, we would strongly recommend that you contact a hard drive destruction specialist, as many will offer both on-site and off-site data destruction services, such as shredding and degaussing, depending on the unique needs of your business.
Perhaps just as important is the fact that a reputable hard drive destruction company will also provide you with written proof that the work was completed, such as giving you a hard drive destruction certificate or document for peace of mind and legal purposes.
Delete, Delete, Delete
Many novices will make the common error of simply deleting all of the files on their drive. Or, the more advanced may reformat the drive and call it a night. However, in reality, there are techniques and software that savvy cybercriminals can use to recover files and data, even after businesses have deleted everything on them.
The only surefire way to ensure that your data is gone for good is to have the drive destroyed by a professional.
Use a Magnet, Get a Cookie
In the past, hard drives were far less sophisticated than they are today. That is, taking a magnet to a hard drive would often suffice in scrambling the data found within the computers of the 1990s and early 2000s. However, today’s modern drive is far more durable and will easily resist the data-altering effects of demagnetization.
If I Hoard, they Shall not Come
Another error that many businesses make is they simply stockpile old drives in a cellar or storage locker. This is a common faux pas that can lead to chaos if a few thieves were to break into your compound and steal dozens of old hard drives. As such, you should incorporate a data destruction policy in your business that stipulates how long hard drives should remain on the premises.
In other words, we would suggest that you institute a retention policy throughout your establishment so that drives will be removed from your property before a given retention deadline arrives. Then, they can be transported to a local hard drive destruction company so that they can be destroyed without compromise.
Criminals will Only Target Multinational Conglomerates
Another common myth is that cybercriminals will only go after Fortune 500 companies, as they will have the most data and money to steal. In reality, most of the companies that have their business data stolen are small companies, such as start-ups.
The reason many people believe that only big companies are the victims of data theft is because of the number of people implicated, as well as the national headlines that often follow corporate malfeasance.
For instance, a 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found that 61 percent of the victims of data breaches were small companies, which was an increase from the 53 percent reported in 2016. Hence, if you own a small or medium-sized business, then you should be more prudent, as many cybercriminals may target your business because they think that it will be an easy target, with minimal to no safeguards to worry about.
Damaging the Drive Will Take Care of Any Problems
This is yet another myth that simply refuses to die. Some people will try and save time and money when dealing with old hard drives and will find creative ways to damage them. For example, some may try to break their drive by hitting it repeatedly with a hammer.
Others may drop a bowling ball on it or may decide to unleash some road rage by running it over with their car. There have even been reported cases of people throwing hard drives off of tall buildings during the night.
Unfortunately, even drastic measures such as these may not suffice to destroy a drive, as damaged hard drives can be repaired with some finagling. As such, the only way to ensure that a hard drive is completely and utterly destroyed is to send it to a data destruction company.
Old Drives Can’t be Accessed Via the Latest Tech
Another peculiar myth that still persists is that old hard drives are useless to thieves, as some people believe that they cannot be accessed via the latest and greatest technology. In reality, today’s cyber thief is more intelligent, cunning, and sophisticated than those in the past, and most will not rest until they have found a way to access the data on your old drives. Hence, the adage that “old is gold” holds true when it comes to “legacy” drives, so buyer beware.
The eCycle Solutions Difference
If you would like to learn more about the merits of hard drive destruction, then please visit our website. At eCycle Solutions, we specialize in IT asset disposition services (ITAD), including detailed asset tracking, diagnostic evaluation, data wiping, hard drive destruction, secure transportation, warehousing and redeployment, and refurbishment and remarketing for resale purposes.