Data destruction has become essential to establishing properly functioning organisations and companies dealing with sensitive data and information. The information can be stored with many and varying methods across digital and physical assets or storage devices, as paper documents are still used and are stored for regulatory purposes.
The storage of data within organisations needs to be well thought through and set up effectively to protect the data, as the data contains confidential material about the company and its customers and could lead to dire consequences if stolen or leaked. If it ends up in the wrong hands, there are usually severe consequences for the company’s image and will most likely result in fines and sues by its customers.
Hence it is important to think not only through how to establish your organisation’s data storage systems properly but also through a process for regularly disposing of the data which does not need to be stored and how your organisation will ensure the data is not open to easy access after its end-of-life. This is when expertise in disposals for storage devices such as hard drives and USB sticks is very important and must be very well considered.
All types of devices that contain sensitive data must go through a mandated process for deletion of the data and then the destruction of the devices down to a specific particle size if the data contained on the devices is of a sensitive nature such that it must comply with the Information Security Manual (ISM) and PSPF data destruction regulations. This type of data is usually classified by a Government department for national security purposes ie. Defence-related material.
Large organisations and conglomerates with abundant documents and storage devices are the types of companies that need a much greater level of protection when it comes to cyber security and also end-of-life destruction service management. Companies and organisations that hold this level of data usually have a much higher ‘threat level’ from individual or organised crime actors who want to exploit secrets for monetary or political gain.
It is always more efficient and, more often than not, more effective to employ the services of a professional destruction or disposal company. These professional organisations with this speciality have the experience and accreditations and can therefore provide assurance and certification that the data destruction process has been carried out to comply with the country’s regulations and also adhering other country’s regulations, should the devices or sensitive material be classified under ITAR or as Treaty Articles.
A data destruction company ensures that your data is adequately erased, destroyed and disposed of according to a country’s laws. These qualified and accredited disposal experts follow strict protocols for data sanitization and take extensive measures to maintain the confidentiality of the parties concerned through the process.
For data stored on paper documents, destruction machines such as shredders (different styles for different particle sizes) are used that effectively and efficiently tear the paper into a specific size of the particle, rendering the data and content indecipherable per the classification of the data. Whereas for media storage devices, the digital data sanitisation methods render the data unrecoverable using various methods such as erasure and overwriting with software, machines and due process.
After removing and rendering the stored data unusable on the storage media devices such as hard disk drives or solid-state drives, various destruction methods like degaussing and shredding are used to ensure they are also effectively physically destroyed.
Hard drive shredders are machines that completely shred metallic and plastic components (along with other materials) into small pieces. On the other hand, degaussers use a magnet to render the disk platter inside the drive that stores information useless.
Other methods are also used to destroy hard drives, such as melting and drilling. These methods are not practised frequently because melting requires dangerous chemicals that can harm the environment. Drilling is also not often used as this procedure is not always effective as there is no guarantee that the disk platter will be completely destroyed during the destruction process.
After the devices are appropriately destroyed, the remaining waste particles are then segregated according to their material and recycled.
It would be best if you did some research first to find a reliable data destruction service that can fulfil your needs and is accredited by the right organisations that govern your business area. An ideal data destruction service must provide various methods of destroying your information-containing devices and material and who are capable of certifying their destruction services.
A reputable and secure disposal partner should be NAID AAA PSPF certified. This ensures that they are accredited to do the work specified and are a trustworthy company that follows strict protocols. NAID are the National Association for Information Destruction, the administering body, also setting the standards for the industry (with document disposal included).
After shredding, the waste material must be disposed of correctly as it can be toxic to the environment. Ensure that your service provider is environmentally aware and has processes which include eco-friendly practices in the destruction process and the recycling efforts of the e-waste at the end of the cycle of destruction.
You should also be allowed to witness the whole destruction process of your data and have a certificate of destruction provided to you as proof that the job has been satisfactorily completed according to the law. Being accredited and providing a certificate of destruction shows how much the destruction company prioritises their clients and is a reliable partner.
Secure Hard Drive Destruction is a certified NAID AAA PSPF disposal service provider and follows the strictest requirements for handling and destroying classified information and assets. We ensure the complete erasure and destruction of your data and provide recycling services within the most secure disposal environment in Australia.
Your needs are covered throughout our destruction process with the right machines, procedures, accreditations and staff.