The issue of data destruction is a modern-day problem for just about every business in existence. How company owners collect, use, store and eventually dispose of their data is of great importance if they want to mitigate the risks of a data security breach.
Business, financial and personal data has become an incredibly valuable possession for businesses and governments. Data can often be worth more to a company than their physical assets.
You can almost say that what lies at the heart of the success of most modern businesses is the data it holds. However, data gathering isn't infinite. There will come a point where a specific data set or collection of information will no longer be required by the company to conduct its business.
This is where a lot of companies tend to stumble. It is extremely important to dispose of data in a secure manner that will ensure your company meets with all its requirements under the Data Protection Act 2018.
What is secure technology destruction?
To put it in simple terms, secure technology destruction is a part of your IT disposal process where you need to get rid of all sensitive data and stored information from your IT system that is no longer of use to your company and that you will no longer need to use in the future.
All businesses will use a lot of computers, laptops, tablets, hard drives, data storage devices, smartphones and servers. These technologies are essential systems used for a major part of all business activities and processes.
However, all of these devices will eventually expire. No desktop computer or laptop is going to last forever. Eventually, your company will be left with redundant IT assets that may be carrying a lot of stored data that you simply cannot afford to lose.
Keeping your records confidential
A lot of your IT technology will contain confidential information on clients, shareholders, customers personal data, B2B clients, business suppliers, financial records, and personal information about your employees that is stored on your systems data storage and hard drives.
You are required by law to keep the information you hold safe and secure. While you may install the very best virus protection and firewalls on your computer system, you still need to make sure that you store this information safely in protected files and then dispose of your old data records with great sensitivity and awareness of your obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Quite often, businesses forget about the data stored on hard drives and other data-bearing equipment once the IT asset no longer functions. This means that when a laptop or computer breaks down, a company will often dispose of it and replace it with new equipment without even thinking about the data that is stored on the old device.
Plan properly for your IT asset disposal
With increasing government pressure placed on business owners to reduce their carbon footprint and to minimise business waste going to landfill, most businesses will now look at recycling their old IT assets and telecoms equipment instead of destroying them.
Recycling your old technology makes good sense. You can choose to look at selling your old IT equipment with a view to it being refurbished and put back into the circular economy.
New start-up businesses with tight budget constraints and those businesses wanting to run a lean structure are often keen to launch using second-hand and refurbished IT assets.
By keeping your old IT assets out of the landfill you will also be going a long way towards improving your company's green credentials and reducing your environmental impact on the earth.
However, anyone planning on recycling a computer needs to completely remove all sensitive data from the computer before putting it into third party hands.
Disposing of IT assets that cannot be saved
Very often your company may build up a collection of obsolete IT assets or equipment that is broken beyond repair. In these cases, it makes sense to look at recycling these assets by breaking down the equipment into raw base materials that can be recovered and reused.
Most modern IT technology is comprised of a mixture of metals, plastics and glass materials. These are valuable materials that can be separated, melted down and recycled to make new products.
However, before you can even think of parting company with your old, redundant IT equipment you must ensure that all of the data held on these devices is completely wiped and destroyed.
Destroying your data isn't as easy as emptying your computer waste bin and having your hard drives wiped. These basic steps can still leave behind plenty of data that can be recovered.
This is why you need to look at hiring a professional secure technology destruction company such as Restore Technology to avoid any risks of your company suffering from a data breach.
The impact of mishandling your company data
Should you dispose of any of your data-bearing digital equipment without ensuring first that all sensitive information has been completely eradicated, you could face some very serious consequences.
Just imagine if confidential information such as your customer's personal and financial details get leaked and fall into the wrong hands. The costs of hiring a professional data destruction company such as ours to securely destroy your data will pale into insignificance when compared to the negative impact that sort of mistake will have on your business.
The impact that a data breach or ID theft can have on your company could be devastating. We are talking not only in terms of money here but also the goodwill, trust and respectability of your company that can also be in jeopardy.
While you may eventually recover the money lost through government fines from HMRC and other financial penalties suffered, the damage done to your company's reputation and public image will be beyond your control.
Avoiding data breaches
From a business owner point of view, technology is undoubtedly an asset because it makes running a business so much easier and efficient. But on the other hand, there is a darker side of technology that can devastate your business and cause irrecoverable consequences.
Never forget that there are criminals out there that want to get their hands on your data and misuse it for their own gain. The results of suffering a serious data breach can bring your company to its knees.
To reduce or even avoid putting your company data at risk, choosing the right method of data destruction is taken very seriously these days. While your local town or city may have IT experts that offer services to wipe your data from your computer hard-drives, quite often this means that they will just remove all the unwanted information from the disk but they won't ensure that the data cannot be retrieved back.
A better choice would be to choose secure technology destruction services from Restore Technology that will guarantee the complete destruction of your data and render your data storage devices unusable.
Hard-Drive Destruction to protect your privacy
When you consider that formatted or wiped hard-drives have caused so many headaches for businesses in the past because they didn't go far enough to completely obliterate any stored data contained on them, is it really worth the risks of simply wiping them clean and hoping for the best?
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing data-related crimes today because of the higher number of businesses now selling off their old IT assets without first destroying the stored data. Using an improper hard disk wiping procedure can still leave confidential data recoverable.
Always remember that even formatted hard drive discs can still contain confidential files that can be recovered from them using sophisticated recovery techniques. In fact, according to a research report from MIT, 90% of formatted hard disks they bought online to test had recoverable files that contain personal information such as bank account information.
Hard disk drive technology
The physical build of a hard disk drive contains numerous concentric disk layers known as disk platters. A disk platter contains two surfaces that has its own read and write head that allows you to add data and read data synchronously.
The main goal of using our hard disk data destruction service is to make data unrecoverable from the disk drive by removing remnant data from the disk to make it unrecoverable.
You can also choose physical hard drive destruction that destroys the hard drive so it will no longer be in a usable state. Secure technology destruction means that your data-bearing devices are physically damaged and destroyed.
There are several ways to destroy data-bearing discs and other data storage devices. These include methods such as:
Physical destruction of your spent IT assets is generally the strongest technique that guarantees the complete destruction of your stored data. However, you must realise that this method will destroy your computer technology meaning they cannot be reused as originally intended.
There is a big difference between throwing a whole laptop or tablet into an industrial-strength shredder and simply removing the stored hard drive or data storage from the device for destruction.
You can choose to remove the hard drive and data storage from your IT assets to destroy separately. This will enable you to be able to sell on the rest of your IT assets for refurbishment and reuse with newly installed hard-drives and data storage capabilities.
Secure technology and destruction services
With many companies owning potentially hundreds of data storage devices, as well as stockpiling old and outdated hard drives from years ago, there are ever-increasing risks of suffering a data breach.
Therefore, when it comes the time to securely dispose of your old data-bearing technology, it is advisable to hire the services of an accredited, professional company such as Restore Technology that can destroy your confidential data-bearing equipment in a secure environment.
Ultimately you will want to protect your organization against the risks of identity fraud and data breaches. The main benefits of hiring Restore Technology include:
Years of experience: We have the experience, expertise and industry knowledge you need for a thorough job.
Responsible disposal: Restore Technology has a zero-landfill policy. This means that our business procedures will generate zero industrial waste going to landfill. We ensure that all waste materials get re-used, refurbished or recycled back into the circular economy.
Provide many comprehensive services: The Restore group offer a wide range of services that complement each other. We can deliver you with a full chain of custody service that means you can come to us to help you manage your business more efficiently. From records storage and management, confidential data destruction, IT and server relocation, IT asset disposal and secure technology destruction, Restore is here to help!
Protect your company from legal action: By using our secure technology destruction services you will be protecting your company from ID fraud and data breaches that can result in devastating penalties from HMRC.
Restore IT disposal
You can trust Restore IT disposal services for the complete secure destruction of your spent IT assets either on-site at your business premises so you can watch the end destruction with your own eyes, or you can choose our secure off-site destruction and disposal service.
We operate a fully vetted team of IT security officers that will carry out the secure destruction of your broken or obsolete technology using physical destruction methods that include punching, shredding or degaussing of your hard-drives and data-bearing devices.
Your sensitive company data will be fully protected at all times should you choose to use our off-site IT destruction. This is because our trained team of security officers will collect your spent IT assets from your business premises in our tracked, unmarked vehicles and transport them to our secure destruction facilities.
Your service will use a fully recorded and reportable audit trail using STREAMS® - our customer web-based portal.
No matter where your business is located in the UK, Restore Technology will be able to offer you our secure technology destruction services as we operate from several bases across the country.
If you have any questions about our range of business services, do not hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to answer your queries and advise on the best form of action to take with the secure destruction, reuse or recycling of your business IT assets and technology.