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One of the benefits given to our Platinum and Gold Business Partners is the opportunity to be “Spotlighted” on our blog! In the case of Platinum partners, they get an additional opportunity to share an article designed to educate our members related to their area of expertise. They benefit by letting our members get to know them a little bit better and we benefit from the information they share!

I love it when everyone wins!

bp-pacific-storage-logoPacific Records Management is one of our Platinum Business Partners and you can read their original spotlight feature here. In their second feature, Richard Steed, Vice President of Pacific Records Management shares great information about destroying old hard drives and back up tapes.

Thank you, Richard, for your sponsorship and for sharing this great info!

 5 Good Reasons to Destroy Old Hard Drives and Backup Tapes

bp-back-up-tapes-prmYou may have several reasons for keeping a stockpile of old hard drives and backup tapes. Maybe procrastination has gotten the better of you. Perhaps you think you may need to access that expired data someday or you’re concerned about outsourcing the destruction of your media. Whatever your concerns, fear is no replacement for the facts, so here are five good reasons you should destroy your old backup media.  Often this critical information is stored on other devices like copiers, computers, flash type drives and cell phones.

  1. Data Security

Old backup tapes and hard drives are a security liability. A single device can store hundreds of thousands of confidential data files, and electronic data can be compromised even when it’s out-of-date or the device it’s stored on is inoperable.

Deleting digital files from a device doesn’t completely obliterate the data. With the right tools and software, identity thieves and criminals bent on business fraud can still extract information from a tape or hard drive. Physical destruction of your devices is the best way to lower your company’s data breach exposure.

  1. Legal Compliance

Data breach consequences include fines and even criminal prosecution for failing to protect consumer information. Each of the following laws require organizations to safeguard personal, health and financial records from unauthorized access:

  • HIPAA
  • GLB
  • FACTA

Destroying your hard drives and tapes helps keep your business compliant with these privacy regulations.

  1. Cost Savings

In addition to fines and other costs associated with a data breach, don’t overlook the cost of storing old backup media. Every square inch counts when you’re paying a premium for office space. Hoarding outdated computers and storage media means there’s less room for revenue-generating activities. Incorporate regular hard drive and tape destruction into your data security plan to and maximize profitability.

  1. Client Trust

You work hard to gain the trust of your customers and wouldn’t want to throw it away by compromising their data. Having your old hard drives and backup tapes professionally and securely destroyed helps ensure total information privacy for your customers and your business.

  1. Brand and Reputation Protection

Besides creating a whirlwind of legal and financial problems for your business, stolen data can permanently damage your corporate brand and reputation. Some businesses never fully recover from a corporate data breach because of the punishing costs and destruction of the brand.

Media destruction keeps your information safe so consumers continue buy products and services from a company they know and respect.

Don’t let excuses get in the way of protecting your information. Destroying your old hard drives and backup tapes as well as other storage devices makes too much sense!

When deciding to destroy your hard drives, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure the data is destroyed properly.  I heard from a recent prospect the other day that instead of having them shredded, he was going to have his kids in the garage take a hammer to them. While this may or not be effective, a more secure method like shredding beyond recognition will ensure the data is properly destroyed.