While Data is valued as a precious commodity, data as a liability should also be taken into account while processing it. Data breaches may be highly devastating to organizations and their staff, making it even more critical to establish a solid and secure data destruction strategy for the final mile.
Due to growing data protection and privacy concerns, enterprises are under immense pressure to maintain and protect customer data. Firms have been compelled to forge new paths in terms of data compliance and privacy by newly enacted rules and legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It’s imperative that companies review their data security protocols.
In the US, more than one-third of firms don’t have any active procedures in place for the disposal of sensitive data and information. Furthermore, more than 51% of those firms that do have a policy lack sophisticated requirements for data destruction, according to a report – A Crisis in Third-party Remote Access Security“, by Ponemon Institute on behalf of SecureLink.
Here are several data destruction practices that may be used by any firm.
Make and keep a written document outlining data destruction policies
Companies must provide a written document containing all the pertinent information required to undertake efficient and legal data destruction. Specific guidance on the kind of data destruction technique utilized for the various storage media and information should be included in the document. It should also list all the checkpoints and particular individuals who have roles in the chain of custody for the devices. Maintain the document’s version history and keep it current with any new notifications and changes to the standards set by the industry.
A documented policy can guarantee reliable and consistent data destruction at all exit points for retired or reassigned devices. It can harmonize data destruction procedures across all divisions and affiliates of a business.
Keep track of records of data destruction
For achieving data security and compliance objectives, careful documentation of the data destruction certificates and reports is just as important as strict execution.
Industry experts advise keeping a dedicated cloud-based library of data destruction records updated automatically with little human involvement. It goes without saying that these documents need to be reliable and acceptable in legal terms.
Maintain the routine for keeping records
Both ensuring the data designated for destruction and keeping a detailed record of the data intended for preservation are crucial. Due to operational requirements or legal constraints, companies frequently have to keep certain types of records (sensitive data) on hand for periods of time ranging from weeks to years. According to current data protection legislation, these records must be obliterated when the corresponding retention period has passed. Failure to do so could result in noncompliance and fines. To guarantee prompt and efficient deletion of this data, it is essential to have a clear records retention schedule.
Bonus round for data destruction: Scouring the cloud
Organizations should keep in mind two things as the usage of the cloud to store data increases. They haven’t totally erased the data if they have destroyed their personal storage, but a copy is still available in the cloud. Additionally, corporations do not control the physical infrastructure used to hold their data.
The last business and risk tolerance choice that affects an organization’s cybersecurity resilience is where the firm stores its data. Therefore, organizations must ensure the cloud service provider they choose complies with their data destruction criteria. It is quite acceptable to inquire about the types of deletion, overwriting, and data destruction policies and standards they employ, as well as the jurisdiction in which the data will be stored.
At the end of the data handling life cycle, enterprises shouldn’t overlook the safe data destruction and storage decommissioning steps. They don’t want to execute the remaining actions flawlessly and then falter at the finish line.