Data Destruction vs Retention?
As we are striving towards complete data digitization, we are increasingly depending more on electronic devices to store and access data adequately. At some point, you’ll want to update the equipment and clear the clutter of the broken and unused storage devices. Simply tossing out the hard drives, USBs, CDs, and tapes won’t do anymore. Because, even after a file is deleted from the device, for example, a laptop, the data is still recoverable through methods like hard drive cloning and email archiving. So, to completely destroy the data and make it inaccessible, data destruction would be one of the best methods. It prevents sensitive data from falling into wrong hands and acts as a last line of defense. And for the need to store the data for a specified period, data retention methods can be applied. The business or organization has to decide and implement a data retention and destruction policy.
What is Data Destruction?
Data destruction is a process in which the information contained in storage devices such as hard drives, magnetic tapes, USBs, and other media, and computing devices is absolutely destroyed. A proper data destruction procedure ensures that the data is irreversible and inaccessible from disposed of devices. It is similar to shredding documents using a shredder before disposal. Some of the commonly employed effective methods are discussed below.
Methods of Data Destruction
In this process, new data is written on top of the original data. A specific pattern of 0’s and 1’s is written over the old data and this unique pattern can be used as an identification mark. It can be used to identify drives that are wiped clean of old data. Generally, overwriting is done once but for sensitive or high-level applications that need extra assurance, multiple layers of overwriting are preferred to destroy the old data. This method totally destroys the data by making it unreadable, it’s also known as data wiping.
Shredding involves physically destroying the storage medium itself. This method of data destruction employs the use of special shredding equipment for physical disintegration. The shredders can break down all mechanical and electronic components into minute pieces as small as 2nm. Other physical data destruction methods include drilling, incineration, pulverization, and melting using strong acids like Hydrochloric acid and Nitric acid.
Degaussing or demagnetization is used on magnetic storage devices like magnetic tapes, floppy disks, hard drives, and other diskettes. In this process, a strong magnetic field with higher coercivity than the target media device is applied using a degausser. The degausser disrupts the local magnetic fields of the magnetic media by rearranging or randomizing them. Though it’s effective, it is not suitable for storage devices with strong magnetic strengths, such as hybrid devices and flash media like SSDs.
Data Destruction Services:
1. On-site Data Destruction
Onsite data destruction takes place within the company premises, hence the name onsite. Professional data destruction services can undertake the task at your company’s facility. Since the process happens under your supervision, it provides assurance and security. It is simple and convenient for inventory validation and assessment can be done at the company. This eliminates the need to transfer the devices outside. With onsite data destruction, keeping track of the process and the devices is easy, and reduces the threat of data leaks.
2. Off-site Data Destruction
The hired service provider can help you access and validate inventory, and transport the equipment off-site for data destruction. Companies that lack the equipment and space can opt for off-site services. Hiring Certified ITAD services who follow R2 norms will be a better choice as they will comply with the data security and privacy laws.
3. Bulk Data Destruction
Opt for secure data destruction in bulk by choosing a service that follows strict SOPs and compliance laws. Whether off-site or on-site, getting rid of bulk data will save time and money. Some companies might also offer paid value for recyclable materials.
What is Data Retention? (Include information about data retention policy, legal compliance and retention scheduling.)
With the surplus amount of data companies deal with every day, storing unnecessary data becomes a part of their operations. Sometimes, companies may not have a proper process in place, and failing to dispose of it safely would cause various legal and security risks. Also, it causes extra operational costs and inefficiencies in handling data and resources. However, storing the data/information for a limited period can help counter this problem by drafting strong data retention and data destruction policy for your company.
Data Retention Policy
While adhering to data regulations and laws, businesses have protocols as to how long the data can be retained for functional use. It specifies the type of data that can be stored and retrieved and for how long before it is disposed of. Generally, such policies have data retention schedules and these schedules help establish guidelines and standardize the archiving, retrieving, and disposal of processes.
Here are some common guidelines employed :
-Which data will be retained and how long
-Classification of the information collected and the sources
-Legal compliance laws (such as PIPEDA, ITAD, FOIA) that apply to information collected
-Reports of how the information is stored, secured, and backed up
-Reports or overview of the data disposal process.
-Responsibilities and actions to be taken in case of compliance and privacy violations.
Data Retention Services:
1. Appropriate Storage and Archiving of All Information
A data retention policy will help the service provider set up standards according to which you can determine what information to store and archive for operational purposes.
2. Management of Retained Data
With appropriate storage, it becomes easy for them to manage your backed-up data. There won’t be any hassle to deal with unnecessary data and get rid of it.
3. Improved Disaster Recovery
If in case of data leaks, cyber-attacks, or other mishaps, you happen to lose your data, it becomes convenient to restore the data when it’s safely backed up.
4. Easy Data Accessibility
It’s cheaper to store and easier to classify the information. It eliminates the need for extra storage of unwanted data, and it becomes uncomplicated to go through the saved data.
|Data Destruction||Data Retention|
|Securing Your Data:- Destroy data once and for all and make it completely inaccessible.||Regulatory compliance:- Comprises data minimization, information access, storage limitation and retention, and SOPs for data breaches.|
|Easy Eco-Friendly Solution:- Choose a service that recycles and reuses the disposed of equipment.||Data deletion is made easier:- Retention policies can help choose the data that can be deleted immediately.|
|Cost reduction and effective asset management:- Cut down costs to maintain the old and outdated equipment, get paid revenue in exchange by opting to recycle with professional services.||Improved efficiency:- Improved accessibility, reduced storage and maintenance, and efficient backup and archiving.|
|Rules Associated with Data Protection:- Compliance with fairness, purpose limitation, confidentiality, privacy, etc. are followed.||Streamlined management:- Simplified data management, easier data classification, and scheduled and specific backups.|
|Prevent occurrences of Data:- Degaussing, shredding, drilling, etc. eliminate all data and prevent it from falling into wrong hands.||Comprehensive storage:- By establishing storage guidelines, store only required data and eliminate the need for extra storage.|