Professional data destruction is a must for any business or organization that has sensitive information. This includes financial records, medical records, HR information, and more.
Companies are mandated to comply with regulations set forth by data privacy laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Data regulations can carry hefty fines if not followed, so it’s imperative to make sure you have a proper plan in place before your company is ready to go digital.
In this blog post, we will explore what data needs to be protected, how to protect it, and what software tools exist to help you along the way.
What is Professional Data Destruction?
If you have sensitive data that needs to be protected, you need to consider using professional data destruction services like SPW data destruction.
Professional data destruction is a process through which electronic media and digital storage devices are completely destroyed.
The media is being completely shredded into small pieces to ensure that the information cannot be retrieved or accessed in any way.
There are three levels of data protection:
* Level 1: Destruction of data on magnetic media such as hard drives and floppies where all files cannot be accessed regardless of their content.
* Level 2: Destruction of data on optical media such as CDs and DVDs
* Level 3: Securely erase data of data on solid-state storage devices like SSDs
Why is this Important?
There are regulations in place that mandate the protection of data. The most notable restriction is that organizations must safeguard personal health information on computer networks.
Custodians of protected health information (PHI) can only transmit or disclose it if they have consent from the person whose data it is or if they have authorization from a court order or through other means set forth by data privacy laws.
If your company has ever experienced a breach, then you know how costly it can be to not follow data privacy laws.
Even if one person doesn’t give you their consent, then you cannot send their PHI outside of your organization without risking penalties.
For example, the US Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) also regulates how financial institutions handle American customer data.
For example, if a bank wants to share your name with another company, then they need to notify you before doing so and allow you to opt-out of sharing the data with entities outside of their financial institution family.
Similarly, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regulates what is known as “personally identifiable” data about children under 13 years old online.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Data is a valuable asset to any company. It’s important to protect data from loss or theft and this is where professional data destruction comes in.
Data should be protected because it can be very expensive to lose, especially when it comes to sensitive information like medical records.
If your business does not have a proper plan for data protection, you could be liable for penalties that could cost you upwards of millions of dollars.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business and one of these is by investing in professional data destruction services.
How to Destroy Data Safely and Professionally
There are different ways of SPW data destruction. In order to make sure that sensitive data is being destroyed properly, there are regulations that must be followed.
For example, HIPAA requires any company or organization that handles healthcare information to have a written data protection plan in place.
This includes how they will protect the client’s personal health information (PHI) as well as how they will dispose of any PHI that is no longer needed.
How to Shred Hard Media
If you have hard media like paper printouts, CDs, DVDs, Zip Disks, and floppy disks, then there are a few ways to destroy the data. Shredding is one of the best ways to protect your data.
To shred the hard media you can use manual paper shredders or even take it to a location that offers hard drive grinding services. Hard drive grinders are expensive but offer a better guarantee that your data is gone forever.
How to Erase Digital Files
There are different data regulations to follow when it comes to digital data that your company may have. But how do you go about erasing this information?
One of the first things you should do is figure out what type of files need to be erased.
If you’re an organization with sensitive information, such as HR records, one way to ensure compliance is by investing in a software tool that can wipe the hard drive.
This will prevent your company’s data from being accessed by hackers or mischievous employees.
Once you know what type of files need to be erased, the next step is figuring out how to erase them. There are two ways that SPW data destruction typically goes about this process: formatting and wiping.
Formatting deletes all personal data on a computer and then reinstalls it with only factory-default settings and applications. The downside is that all programs and files will be lost during the format.
Wiping takes this a step further by going through every single file on a computer and deleting it permanently so that there’s not even any chance for accidental recovery.
It’s like formatting, but it goes into more detail about which files need to be deleted; it’s more thorough than formatting alone would be.
Data security is a big concern for every business. At a time when data breaches are becoming more and more common, it’s important to think about how you can protect your company’s data.
SPW data destruction ensures your data is safely destroyed, and you remain compliant with data privacy laws.