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Information Security: Business Hard Drive Are Information Goldmines

Published on 25 October 13
Information Security: Business Hard Drive Are Information Goldmines - Image 1

Technology changes at a rapid pace, so businesses are always upgrading to keep up with the latest advances. While it’s great to provide employees with updated devices, it’s even more important to properly dispose of the old ones. Businesses often believe they’re doing a great job of combating security breaches. In fact, 46% of companies stockpile their old hard drives, while others use software to erase sensitive information from hard drives, but that simply doesn’t cut it. It’s imperative for businesses to have an effective hard drive destruction technique intact, so they can be sure their sensitive information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Discarded Hard Drive Data Breaches

An overwhelming 80% of corporate laptops and desktops contain sensitive information. In a study, MIT tested 158 used hard drives and recovered 92.4% of sensitive data. When it’s this easy to recover private, valuable information, companies not using a secure method of hard drive destruction are essentially inviting thieves to steal their data. A data breach can happen before you know it. Criminals use forensic software programs to download 10,000 documents in less than 12 hours.

Many companies have done just that by selling old devices on sites like eBay. IT departments falsely believe they’ve cleared all data from the hard drives by wiping sensitive data with software programs, but they’ve been strongly mistaken. reports that computer forensics expert Simson L. Garfinkel has purchased more than 1,000 hard drives on sites like eBay and found highly sensitive data including credit card numbers, financial records, medical information and more. He even found one company that had sold more than 300 used devices, selling them for parts.

Garfinkel contacted some of the companies he recovered information from to see why he was able to gain access to their data and found that many company leaders had trusted people outside the company to dispose of their hard drives, without checking to see if they knew how to do so properly. Another common issue was that many IT departments simply did not know how to employ effective hard drive destruction.

Data Breach Costs

A shocking 34% of IT personnel do not have a secure process for hard drive destruction. If your company is one of them, consider this - the average cost of a data breach is $7.2 million. That is $214 per record. Not only do companies often take a huge financial hit when they’re hit by data thieves, they also risk losing customers. People don’t want to do business with a company when they feel like their personal information may not be secure. Your data security doesn’t just impact your company. When you fail to keep information secure, you’re also making your valued customers vulnerable to attack. Can your business afford to take this chance?

Secure Hard Drive Destruction

Whether your company maintains valuable information on hard drives, flash drives, magnetic tape or any other method, it’s important to destroy the data stored on the devices when they’re no longer in use. Erasing data and storing hard drives simply are not effective solutions. Businesses that really value the safety and security of their sensitive data and that of their clients’ use a secure hard drive destruction service to properly dispose of electronic information from their hard drives. When you use a professional service to destroy data, you can rest easy, as electronic media is 100% non-recoverable when it’s crushed.

Shred-It is one of the industry leaders and is highly regarded for their secure hard drive destruction services.
This blog is listed under IT Security & Architecture Community

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