Common Data Sanitization Myths

May 5, 2020

Most businesses understand the importance of protecting sensitive data, but when it comes to IT asset disposition and sanitization practices, some companies still drop the ball.  This could be related to a number of prevalent myths surrounding these essential processes.  If you want the best opportunity to protect your South Dakota business and your valued customers, here are a few myths regarding data sanitization that you should be aware of.

Shredding is the Only Viable Option

It’s true that there are certain methods of data destruction you’ll want to avoid, including DIY options like deletion, degaussing, and hitting your hard drives with a hammer or dipping them in acid.  Some of these methods are dangerous, and none of them are guaranteed to keep confidential data from lingering on hard drives and ultimately falling into the wrong hands.

That said, there are two extremely effective methods of eliminating data.  One is to work with a trusted ITAD partner to effectively shred and recycle hard drives and other devices, in keeping with applicable privacy laws and environmental rules and regulations.  The other is to let your ITAD service provider wipe devices with a multi-step process that meets legal and industry-specific guidelines.  By this method, you have the opportunity to refurbish and remarket devices, potentially recouping some cost.

Only Physical Drives Require Sanitizing

When you upgrade equipment, you naturally plan for disposition of outdated IT assets, including sanitization of devices.  However, you also need a plan in place to account for data that is rolled over or stored other places.  Data sanitization is about minimizing the risks of data theft, and this includes processes designed to eliminate outdated, unused, and redundant data, wherever it resides.

Sanitizing Takes Too Long

It’s true that sanitizing hard drives, servers, and so on takes time, especially if you want the job done right.  That said, with regularly scheduled maintenance and the use of automation, you can not only reduce downtime, but boost security and compliance in the process.  When you partner with a certified ITAD service provider to manage sanitization of devices you no longer intend to use, the process becomes even more streamlined.

It’s Too Expensive

IT asset disposition and sanitization practices do entail some amount of expense, whether you perform these procedures in house or outsource them to a trusted ITAD service provider.  That said, the cost is small in comparison to what you might lose if you were to suffer a data breach and/or identity theft because you neglected sanitization.

Between downtime, added security, penalties, lawsuits, and loss of revenue and reputation related to data breach, your company could lose a lot.  According to the 2019 annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, issued by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, up 1.5% from 2018.  That’s significantly more than you’re likely to spend on disposition and sanitization.

If you want to protect your South Dakota company and your customers, it time to explore sanitization options with a certified ITAD service provider.  Contact the experts at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to request a quote and learn more.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.