Data Sanitization: 4 Key Issues Every Organization Needs to Watch Out for

Apr 12, 2022

Data sanitization involves the intentional, permanent destruction of sensitive data from a storage device to ensure it’s no longer recoverable. Many individuals may not know that when data is deleted from storage, it is not completely erased and may be recovered by anyone who gains access to the device.

Many businesses do not implement the proper data sanitization processes required to prevent the risk of data breaches. When data and privacy issues should be top concerns for business owners, many completely overlook this issue.

We’ve put together this article to discuss how improperly disposing of large-volume devices at end-of-life may leave you vulnerable to a data security breach. In it, we discuss the key issues to watch out for to avoid taking considerable risks when you decide to sanitize data.

Key Issues to Watch Out for

It’s important to know that all technical equipment must be sanitized before disposal. Despite knowing and understanding the risks involved, many companies use inadequate methods to protect themselves.

This oversight is frequently due to a lack of awareness among leaders regarding proper security and compliance standards. Here are the top issues to watch out for:

1. Inadequate Data Destruction Policy

In the digital age, cybersecurity is a serious concern. Many business owners may not realize that in cases where data is no longer in use, it can be the target of a cyberattack. When a company lacks a data destruction policy or implements inadequate policies regarding data sanitization, it may lead to costly data breaches.

If you lack knowledge of appropriate data sanitization practices, you should consult with an organization that has established experience in the field.

2. No Audit Trails

Companies should closely evaluate the hardware and software they use to store data. Creating audits and logs is an important way to keep track and identify when and how devices should be destroyed. Failing to establish an appropriate audit trail for end-of-life equipment runs the risk of security and compliance issues.

An audit trail should maintain a clear chain of custody and document equipment from start to finish.

3. Inappropriate Data Removal Methods

When proper methods to destroy data are not used, it can leave a business vulnerable to potential security issues. Many organizations use inadequate data sanitization practices, while others do not sanitize their data at all.

A company may choose to physically shred or degauss their technical equipment. Before you decide on any data sanitization method, you should consider if there are legal and regulatory issues within your industry to consider. It’s important to choose a method that meets those requirements for data destruction.

4. Stockpiling Equipment

Keeping large stockpiles of unused or outdated equipment and not disposing of them in an appropriate time frame can further increase risks. Out-of-use equipment may stay housed in storage for long periods without being erased, leading to internal data breaches and data loss.

Contact SEAM for Data Sanitization

Most companies lack appropriate processes to manage and dispose of end-of-life equipment in a way that prevents data loss. It’s important to take steps to meet important industry and compliance standards.

Frequently, executive leadership will leave technical equipment stored without taking further action. Overlooking the importance of data sanitization may lead to huge security risks in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about our data sanitization services in South Dakota and North Dakota, contact us today!

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.