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Are you also Destroying your Electronic Data?

There are many ways your paper records can be compromised. A document containing a social security number can easily be plucked out of a dumpster. A disgruntled employee may seek retribution by stealing confidential proprietary information from an office file cabinet. Client credit card information sitting on a desktop can easily be copied or photographed by a contractor or service provider. In short, hardcopy records are easy targets for identity theft and corporate espionage.

It’s Not Only Your Paper Records that Are At Risk

Savvy companies minimize the aforementioned risks by incorporating professional document shredding solutions into their records management programs. Yet a destruction program that only accounts for paper documents and files doesn’t fully protect your business from the full range of possible data breaches. While electronic information is not always as easily pilfered as paper records, the effects of exposure can be infinitely greater. For instance, the biggest data breaches of 2012 included:

  • misplacement of 10 Emory Healthcare backup disks with information of 315,000 patients
  • California Department of Child Support Services lost more than 800,000 sensitive health and financial records when backup tapes fell off the back of a truck
  • 10,000 NASA employees’ personally identifiable information was compromised when a laptop was stolen from a car.

So while a single document or file may contain a handful of confidential information, a single backup tape or hard drive may hold sensitive information equaling the population of a large city. In short, it’s important to extend your destruction plan to your electronic data as well.

Implementing A Process that Ensures Total Elimination of Data

Erasing or sanitizing magnetic and optical media does not guarantee that the data contained on these storage devices is completely eliminated. Backup tapes and hard drives need to be physically destroyed to ensure that data is not compromised. Specialized expertise from a trusted destruction company ensures that the data contained on the following formats is completely eliminated:

  • LTO and DLT tapes
  • CDs
  • VCR and cassette tapes
  • Portable USB drives

You’ll want to engage a professional shredding and destruction company that adheres to highest standards of security and operating procedures, utilizing the following destruction processes:

  • Degaussing: erasing data on media without Servo Tracks
  • Eradicating: erasing data on media with Servo Tracks
  • Delamination: separating data bearing material from the disc, thus destroying the magnetic field
  • Physical destruction: grinding the media into small particles

After the destruction process, you should be provided with a “Certificate of Destruction” which serves as a verifiable record for legal and regulatory compliance purposes.

The right destruction company can provide you with a turnkey solution for both your paper records as well as your electronic data. Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, and Aiken, SC and the Central Savannah River Area with professional shredding and information destruction solutions. To find out how we can help your business, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.