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All businesses, large and small, must properly take care of redundant assets holding data. Through using services such as physical data destruction and data erasure, companies keep their sensitive information safe from infiltration.
Furthermore, some businesses will even have specific data destruction policies in place which they abide by. As part of these policies, it is often detailed which method of data destruction, physical or digital, is performed on old data-bearing devices.
To determine which would be the most effective option for your business, we’ve created a guide to help you decide in just 5 minutes.
The basics of physical data destruction
Physical destruction is perhaps the most well-known form of rendering data irretrievable. The process involves shredding the physical asset which harbours the digital information so it cannot be retrieved.
In other words, by slicing an HDD or SSD to a certain level, you render it unusable and the data can’t be accessed. This is often the cheaper option to data erasure, but if not done correctly, can leave data vulnerable. This is why ‘smashing up’ a device doesn’t make the data on it safe, as it is impossible to be sure that asset is thoroughly destroyed without the use of specialist equipment.
IT Asset Disposal companies (ITADs) offer their services to businesses looking for a permanent form of destruction. Using specialist machine shredders for physical data destruction, assets can be destroyed down to 2mm strips, securing the data.
When should physical destruction be used?
With any kind of IT service, how a business chooses which is right for them depends solely on their needs.
Often physical destruction is opted for instead of data erasure when a business:
- Has a range of uncommon data-bearing assets, some of which might not be suitable for data erasure.
- Does not need to reuse the asset and wants a cheaper option to erasure.
- Has assets too damaged for data to be accessed and erased digitally.
- Wishes to witness the data destruction in person on-site.
As we know, destruction leaves the asset unusable. This renders the data irretrievable and, for extra peace of mind, is sometimes used in conjunction with data wiping for organisations wanting top-secret level data security.
The basics of data erasure
Data erasure is a non-destructive process to remove information on a device while leaving it intact. This is often a popular option for businesses wanting to reuse their assets and prevent the need to purchase replacements.