A discarded hard drive can be a valuable find to a dumpster diver with a criminal mind. Credit card and other financial information, confidential medical and legal records, and valuable industrial information can all fetch a high price–and almost never from the right person. In recent years, companies and governments around the world have learned the value of having a good hard drive degausser on hand. But is a degausser enough? The limitations of degaussing machines and their operators, coupled with the pace of modern technology and the value of confidential information, suggest that it isn’t.
Human error is perhaps the biggest flaw in a data destruction system that uses only a degausser. Whether your degausser uses magnets or an electro-magnetic pulse to destroy sensitive data, the machine must be powerful enough to render a hard drive inoperable. This means that you must calibrate your degausser periodically or send it back to its manufacturer for calibration. Although trained professionals stand an excellent chance of keeping your degausser in effective working condition, there will always be a small chance that human error will result in your disposing of a hard drive that still has recoverable data on it. Avoiding this risk can be as easy as investing in a hard drive crusher as well as a degausser.
Human ingenuity is a double-edged sword, especially for those of us who work with large volumes of valuable, confidential data. Ingenuity can provide us with new, more efficient means of processing our clients’ important information, but it can also provide thieves with new, more efficient means of stealing it! Incomplete degaussing performed by an inadequately trained employee–or worse, the use of a degausser to destroy data on a device that cannot be degaussed–can provide a clever criminal with just enough access to your sensitive data to do some damage.
Degaussed or not, a physically intact hard drive invites a thief to see if something was overlooked during the degaussing procedure. If there was, your company could find itself in hot water over the release of sensitive information or customers’ personal data. Phiston technologies produces high-quality hard drive crushers to finish the job of data destruction. Contact us to find out about the best way for your company to ensure that its confidential information remains confidential.