With the amount of personal data stored on hard drives, one would expect companies to wipe these crucial devices clean before donating or selling them. Hard drives are especially targeted by syndicates because they are easy to resell.
Xperien CEO Wale Arewa urges organisations to fully erase all personal data from all hard drives. "And that means more than simply hitting delete. Many people will presume that pressing the delete button on a computer file means that it is gone forever. However, this information can be easily recovered."
"We live in a world where personal and company information is a highly valuable commodity. It is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands," he added.
Xperien has developed processes for eliminating data from hard drives to meet the strict security standards for monitoring, control and alignment with any organisation's policy. It issues certificates that provide management with documentary proof of due diligence in the execution of their responsibility. Data must be erased using one of the three methods in order to be compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (PoPI) and also to ensure that a company’s intellectual property does not fall into the wrong hands.
Arewa says failure to carry out one of the following data destruction methods may lead to serious penalties. "More importantly, the loss of data could lead to your company’s reputational damage." Advance digital data elimination allows the hard disk drive to be reused, making this method the most environmentally compliant. Xperien's software solutions offer the best audit trails on the market.
Alternatively, physical shredding of the hard disk drive crushes and mangles it into tiny 25mm pieces, this eliminates the data and renders the hard disk drive unusable. Finally, one could consider degaussing. This process uses a magnetic charge to eliminate data and it also destroys other components of the hard disk drive – ensuring double protection.