Anyone responsible for data held on magnetic media, computer hard drives, backup tapes, CD’s or floppy drives, is responsible by the Data Protection Act 1998 for its security. And it is during the time of its disposal that this information is most likely to be leaked or stolen.
Who uses data destruction services?
Anyone who holds confidential data is required to use a data destruction service, this includes organisations such as local authorities, educational establishments, NHS trusts, financial institutions and corporates where confidential information on hard drives demands the highest level of secure destruction.
But what happens to your IT waste once it has been collected professionally? There are various ways that this can be carried out as outlined below;
Physical shredding, as the name would suggest, is a process where data is physically shredded into tiny fragments using government standard shredding technology and data wiping technology. This can be carried out both on site or off site. Onsite data destruction service simply means that you can have your data bearing assets such as hard drives, tapes, disks and other items physically destroyed at your business premises. Doing this onsite affords the client the additional security of knowing that sensitive data has not left their company. Off site shredding is where we take it away to destroy. Either way, you are assured that your data is 100% destroyed in line with the data protection act.
Electronic wiping of DATA (only applicable if approved by you the customer)
Data held on hard drives is removed or eradicated using approved software and hardware in accordance with internationally recognised standards and there are two ways of doing this;
Option 1 – Data wiping using DBAN software
DBAN, which stands for ‘Darik’s Boot and Nuke,’ is software designed to securely erase the hard disk until all data is permanently removed and no longer recoverable. This system completely wipes drives, even those that have an operating system installed, and is used by Military Organisations to prepare machines for disposal.
Option 2 – CESG approved data wiping software
CESG, stands for Communications-Electronics Security Group it is the Cheltenham National Technical Authority employed by the UK Government to protect voice and data networks and to keep the Government’s IT systems safe. CESG has been in operation since World War I when it advised on the security of British codes and Ciphers.
Then there is the ultimate in media destruction whereby media is smelted in a furnace at 960 degrees centigrade reducing the storage devices to ash.
Which ever option is decided upon, what you are guaranteed is that your data has successfully been destroyed bringing you in line with the law.