It would be wonderful if you could delete or erase all of the sensitive data that resides on old company computers and ensure it was gone for good.
But you can’t.
In fact, not only does that sensitive data stay on your computer, but it’s easier to recover than you would think.
MIT, for example, was able to recover 92.4%, almost all, of the sensitive information contained on disposed of hard drives; including credit card and social security numbers, medical records, emails and much more! This information had already been either deleted or erased from 158 used hard drives.
Consider that most corporate computers contain sensitive data, and almost half of businesses still stockpile their old hard drives. Add the risks that forensic software programs create and the number of security breach escalate... with the average breach costing $7.2 million!
At the same time, computer ownership continues to grow and research suggests there are over one billion personal computers in use around the world. Some people own more than one computer, and they are upgrading to newer models constantly. With improvements in processor speed, memory, etc., the average length of ownership has dropped from 8 years to 3 years. That’s a lot of computers containing sensitive personal data that need to be disposed of safely and securely.
So, how do you guarantee that sensitive data on old computers is protected and truly destroyed when it’s no longer needed?
Answer: Crushing or shredding hard drives and media is the most secure way to permanently destroy the data. When e-media is shredded and crushed, it is 100% non-recoverable.