Don’t Stop At ‘Delete:’ How Privacy Needs Are Shaping Data Destruction

Don’t Stop At ‘Delete:’ How Privacy Needs Are Shaping Data Destruction

It’s just part of the job: at some point in a device’s lifecycle, data must be destroyed. While deleting files may mean users and apps can’t access them, simple deletion isn’t enough to truly destroy the data. To be most effective, secure data destruction has to be complete. This is especially true when your organization needs to stay compliant with changing local and global data privacy regulations.

What is Data Destruction? It Isn’t Always Common Sense

ZDNet reported 59% of hard drives sold used or refurbished on online marketplaces contained data from the previous owner, including data that had been ‘deleted’ and easily recovered. In some cases, the drive had been reformatted but data was still recoverable. 

“The drives contained a wide array of data, from including employment and payroll records, family and holiday photos (along with intimate photos and sexualized content), business documents, visa applications, lists of passwords, passport and driver’s license scans, tax documents, bank statements and lists of students attending senior high schools,” the article reports. 

This level of data recovery on retired or re-instituted electronic equipment is never acceptable. However, it is even less so in enterprise settings. This is especially true now that a growing list of data privacy regulations dictates the way organizations approach data storage, transmission, sharing and destruction. You need to know where all your data lives so nothing lingers for a potential breach. In addition, you should conduct an audit to ensure that data is not lingering on third-party systems when it is time for data destruction.

Knowing Your Data

Before you destroy your data, ..