Physical Data Destruction

Physical data destruction is defined differently among different stakeholders. Some tend to think that physical data destruction means the literal destruction of the media used to hold the data. In a sense, that might be true since the process involves the destruction of the data media.

Nonetheless, the term Physical Data Destruction means destroying the electronic media in such a way that it is unreadable. Therefore, this means that the data previously stored in the electronic media cannot be accessed by any unauthorized persons.

Data Destruction

Data is destroyed because it is no longer needed. However, failure to properly destroy unwanted data could lead to serious data security breaches. It is therefore paramount for people to learn effective and efficient ways of disposing data to avoid any privacy intrusion from unauthorized individuals.

Even so, research from Blanco indicated that approximately 80% of senior individuals from Canada and the US stockpile their unwanted data in a storage unit. As a matter of fact, the same research confirms that companies use an approximate $100,000 to store these data.

Also, 57% of the individuals reported taking more than two weeks to erase data from these devices before they are relocated to the storage/destruction units. This indicates there is a massive lag in data disposal and destruction. The knowledge and application of valiant methods of physical data destruction should be used to avoid any potential data security breaches.

Destruction of data storage devices

There are primarily two methods of data storage: rotational Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SDDs). HDDs are typically destroyed by a process known as degaussing. Degaussing entails the removal and/or interruption of the magnetic fields attached to the drives. The drive is then crushed, shredded, or disintegrated to complete the process.

With the development of SSDs, most institutions still used the HDD data destruction process to dispose them. Nevertheless, this process does not guarantee the absolute destruction of the data in the SSD drives. This inaction makes them susceptible to potential data breaches.

SSD market research indicates that the expected global market for SSDs is $229.5 billion by 2022. Yet, more than 33% of the Canadian and US enterprises do not have different methods for disposing and destroying SSDs. The data removal methods applied by said enterprises are just not workable for them.
Solution

There have been various international laws that ensure the safe handling and destruction of data. The EU for instance summarizes these data protection laws under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Similarly, we can learn from the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Under the CCPA, companies in the State of California are expected to disclose what customer information they have collected as well as be able to erase them at the customer’s request.

Even though this is a preliminary to national implementation, these laws will require the stakeholders to be able to effectively, erase, and disintegrate data efficiently. Companies and individuals alike should, therefore, be keen as to how they destroy data to avoid any risk in data security.The perfect solution to erase data is through paper shredding for all hard copy materials.

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