Why Data Destruction: Security, Protection, and Best Practices

Information Technology (IT) is the driver of the new world and data is its currency, which begs the question “why data destruction?”

While IT has made our lives much easier, it has exposed us to threats like a data breach.

Consider this. A study conducted by IBM and the Ponemon Institute in 2016 on 383 companies from 12 different countries found the average total cost of a data breach to be $4 million.

It’s threats like these that highlight why data destruction is so important.

What is Data Destruction?

Data destruction is a planned process to destroy data stored on hard disks, tapes and other electronic media in such a manner that it can’t be accessed again.

4 Myths About Data Destruction

1. My Data is Not Important Enough to be Stolen

Many of us are under the impression that the data stored on our laptops or hard disks is not important enough to be stolen. This assumption is absolutely wrong. A variety of data is stored on your hard disk and all of it can be misused in a number of ways.

Many attempts are continually being made to steal your data. It’s nothing personal. It is because of the fact that all kind of data is important. Always remember that as long as you have a digital identity, you are vulnerable to data breach threats. Your hard disk may also have various passwords stored. Any unauthorized access to the passwords may prove fatal. At times even users themselves don’t remember storing something sensitive in their hard drives. Negligence in data destruction in such a case can lead to a crisis.

2. Deleting a File Makes it Irrecoverable

Once I accidentally deleted an important file. I asked a tech savvy friend of mine if there was a way to recover it and I couldn’t believe my eyes when he actually recovered the file (and no he didn’t recover it from the Recycle Bin). The point is that at times, just deleting the files doesn’t make it permanently irrecoverable and it can still be vulnerable to data theft.

3. Data Destruction is Expensive

Many companies offer the services of data destruction at an affordable price. Companies even send representatives to come to your location to carry out the process. Hence, you can easily get your data securely destructed without investing a lot of resources.

4. I Can Do it On My Own

While you may have enough knowledge to professionally erase your hard disk, the perception of having adequate knowledge to securely erase your confidential information is severely dangerous. Things change very rapidly in the IT world and the technique you learnt as the perfect method to erase data may become redundant in a few months. It is for this very reason that you should seek professional services for data destruction.

So Why Data Destruction?

Still not convinced? Let’s look at a real-world example.

Back in 2010 a software engineer dedicated his hardware to the BitCoin community to mine BitCoins. He had the e-wallet key stored in his laptop. Later he got a new laptop and threw the old one away after causally deleting the data. BitCoins hogged the limelight in 2014 when their price rose from virtually nothing to over $1000 in just a few months.

The engineer had the key and accessed his e-wallet only to find out that his BotCoin wallet was empty. Someone had robbed his wallet by accessing data from his old laptop! If a software engineer can be a victim of data breach, so can you.

The importance of why data destruction is necessary can be understood by the fact that recently France has proposed a bill which will levy heavy fines on firms whose confidential data reaches public domain. It implies that the governments also want data destruction to be taken seriously.

Do not be under the assumption that your data will not be stolen. Some people make a living by stealing data and illegally selling it to the highest bidders. Everything right from your movie collection to your bank passwords can be misused.

If you have business data you should be extra conscious. If it gets stolen, both your career and your company may face serious fines. You should always get professional services to get your data erased permanently.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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