Advice for Implementing a Data Destruction Policy

Jun 26, 2019

Your company collects all kinds of essential data that allows you to serve the needs of your clients and adeptly manage your operations. You take great pains to secure this sensitive data, not only to protect your clients and your business, but as a means of complying with applicable privacy laws.

At some point, you’re going to upgrade devices, and your South Dakota or North Dakota business might not have a solid plan for data destruction in place, which could leave you open to an array of negative outcomes, including identity theft, data breach, and other legal and ethical concerns. It’s imperative that you develop strict data destruction policies in order to protect confidential data.

How can you get your business in order where data destruction is concerned? Here are a few strategies that will get you on track for successful IT asset disposition.

Consider Your Needs
The place to start is by auditing your end-to-end process, from data acquisition and storage, to migration and IT asset disposition (ITAD). You need to know how long you have to store data and situations where it must be destroyed.

In addition to safely storing data, you need to consider your planned timetable for device turnover and how you’re going to handle migrating needed data to new devices, as well as properly disposing of old ones. A solid understanding of the life cycle and uses of equipment provides the basis for creating a thoughtful and complete data destruction policy.

Create Comprehensive and Consistent Policies and Procedures
Creating data destruction policies and procedures for your company starts with setting your priorities. These could include compliance with legal requirements for consumer privacy, as well as any applicable industry standards related to healthcare, finance, or other data. You may also want to consider the prospect of thoroughly wiping and remarketing devices to recoup costs, or alternately, shredding hard drives and devices to ensure complete destruction.

You should have a tracking system based on bar codes or serial numbers, a plan for secure in-office storage of decommissioned devices, and a regular schedule in place for pickup and transport to destruction and recycling facilities, or even on-site destruction by a trusted third party. When you have comprehensive rules in place, you can start training employees to ensure consistent practices designed to protect your company and your clients from the dangers of data theft.

Don’t Forget Data Retention Planning
Destroying devices, or at least the sensitive data they house, is a must, but your policies need to complement your plans for data retention, as well. If you don’t yet have data retention policies in place, you need to develop them concurrently with data destruction planning to ensure that you don’t “throw the baby out with the bath water”, so to speak.

Partner with a Reliable Data Destruction Company
Your North Dakota or South Dakota business has plenty to do without having to contend with the difficulties of data destruction. When you partner with a knowledgeable and experienced data destruction company that offers secure, compliant, and certified ITAD services, you can alleviate hassles and concerns and move on to more important tasks.

Contact SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to get the ball rolling on your effective and compliant data destruction policy.