IT hardware security vulnerabilities and how to solve them

In recent years, the awareness of IT-related secure destruction in the workplace has increased – not just in a network or cloud capacity, but with regard to end-of-life-cycle hardware too.

It’s easy to see why. Breached data can damage the reputation of a company, as well as irreparably ruining customer relationships, and in some cases, it can break the law.

With so many different devices storing information, the risk of accidental release or theft of private data is constantly increasing – laptops, desktop computers, mobile devices and flash drives all pose a risk when it comes to data breaches.

Where do data breaches come from?

Whilst most offices are savvy enough to ensure that their networks are secure from potential online intruders, it’s a fact that 70% of UK data breaches actually come from offline devices.

The majority of breached data comes from human error, for example, mobile devices left on public transport or old hard drives placed in unlocked bins without having been correctly formatted. Somehow, despite our insistence on technology security protecting us from malware or brute force attempts, we’re all too often negligent when it comes to utilising the correct asset disposal techniques.

How to destroy a hard disk

Sometimes, formatting simply isn’t enough. Most modern desktop and laptop computers ship with Solid State (SSD) drives as standard, of which DoD 3 erasure standards are not designed. In fact, secure erase procedures work less than 35% of the time on these units.

Since overwriting data on an SSD is time-consuming, it’s far more practical to arrange for the secure destruction of these disks instead – however, it’s important to bear in mind that physical destruction needs to reduce any residual material to less than 8mm in size – put simply, your standard office shredder might not be able to cut the mustard on this one.

Best data destruction practices

If you’re unsure of how to properly destroy data prior to selling on old equipment or simply disposing of it, it’s probably worth your while seeking advice from a professional asset disposal company who can offer an all-in-one data destruction/IT remarketing service.