When we talk about your company’s IT equipment, it’s understood that the real value to those assets is not the equipment. It’s the data held on those devices – those reams of proprietary information, customer data, strategic plans, compliance reports, and company communications.
Twenty-five years ago, people had to be reminded of this truth. In today’s digital world, everyone with a smartphone knows the stuff that really matters is the data inside the device.
That’s why data destruction is an important part of decommissioning project. You can decommission your IT equipment, but the real valuable assets are still inside.
An experienced, dependable provider can help you by destroying that data responsibly and properly.
Here are the key things you need to know about data destruction.
1. Digital Destruction vs. Physical Destruction
To begin, there are two main categories of data destruction: “Digital Destruction” and “Physical Destruction.”
Digital destruction wipes out the data without destroying the device. In Canada, the minimum standard for digital destruction calls for overwriting, or “sanitizing,” the device so the data is irretrievable. More sensitive data requires a combination of techniques to guarantee total data destruction.
Digital destruction allows the device to be reused, so it’s a useful option for expensive equipment like storage racks or servers, assets you would like to keep intact. Similarly, if you are leasing the equipment, then you cannot destroy it.
Physical destruction means the device itself is destroyed. Methods such as shredding or deformation ensure that disk drives, CDs, tapes and other devices are physically damaged to the point that the data is irretrievable. Physical destruction is a quick and efficient method for destroying large amounts of data.
Whatever method is used, it’s important that the provider gives a Certificate of Destruction to show the work was completed properly and responsibly. The Certificate will have the devices’ serial numbers.
3. Legal requirements
Industries such as health care, government or financial services generally have legal requirements that their devices be disposed of properly with a Certificate to prove it.
4. Recycling IT assets
Recycling your IT assets is largely preferable to having the equipment end up in the landfill. However, physically destroying a device sometimes means that the landfill is the only real option for the remaining pieces.
Track has Partnerships
Track is experienced in every part of creating a responsible decommissioning plan, including getting experienced data destruction experts onboard. Track has valuable industry partnerships with experienced service providers who can deliver on those data destruction needs.
Contact us to talk about how data destruction fits into your decommissioning plan.