Part of your data security plan should always include erasing old data which could fall into the wrong hands. This protects not only your customers, but also your business. The last thing you want to do is to make customers feel your business is careless when it comes to their sensitive information. Protecting their data is just one of the things you must do as a business, in order to protect both your clientele, and the reputation of your business.
Tips on Data Destruction
If you have a shredder for your removable discs, such as CD’s, DVD’s, and other media, that’s a great start. You should always shred old discs, so that they cannot be used, reused, abused, or have the data taken from them. But is shredding old hard media enough?
The importance of a hard drive crusher is obvious, but how many businesses really do this? Think about how much data is on your hard drive which houses data such as customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and other sensitive information. Consider the risk if someone were to find your old hard drives and try to capture the information from it. How much risk would you put your clients in if someone were to find this information?
Where Federal Legislation Comes In
The FTC has put in place some securities through various federal laws which were designed to protect consumers from unlawful use of their private information, such as the HIPAA law, which protects individuals from having their health or medical information compromised, and the FACTA law, a consumer protection law which is means to protect them from misuse of their credit card information. Business owners need to keep in mind that these laws were put in place to help consumers and to protect them from identity theft, misuse of their private and financial information, and other data. So businesses have a responsibility to do their part to be diligent.
How to Do Due Diligence
Due diligence has to do with making sure you are protecting your clients’ interests by watching for any security issues and working to alleviate this whenever it occurs. Most of all, you should use preventive means to ensure that these types of infractions cannot occur in the first place. One of the best ways to handle this is to follow the following steps at all times:
- Shred and dispose of all data on hard media, such as CD’s, DVD’s, and other removable media as soon as its usefulness is outdated. Don’t allow old media with sensitive data or other information to fall into the wrong hands.
- Protect passwords and log in information by keeping such information hidden in a secret place at all time and by only allowing access to a few. This way, there is less of a possibility the system will be abused.
- Have your IT person check for possible hacking attempts on a regular basis, using automated software or technicians. There are many different types of “watchdog” technology available now to help you do this.
- Use a professional hard drive crusher to do away with data on old hard drives before disposing of them. This is a very important step which ensures that no one can misuse information on the hard drive or steal intellectual property from the source drive.
Taking these simple steps on a regular basis will ensure that only the essential people have access to the information, that your IT systems are secure, and that the sensitive data of your employees, customers, and clients is protected from prying eyes and third party infiltration.
Phiston Technologies specializes in the destruction of hard drives, old media, and storage drives. We do it right the first time, so that the information is completed deleted, leaving no trace of the original files which others could rebuild and misuse.
For more information on how we can help, contact us.