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Why Onsite Data Destruction?

It is often asked "Why we only perform Onsite Data Destruction" and would we ever consider removing data from a client's site? The answer is always categorically NO!

So Why Erase On-site?

custodian dataFirstly, we need to look at responsibility, who's responsible for an instance of Data Loss?  This is a topic seldom discussed, never mind raised by the many so called Data Destruction experts our industry hosts. 

  • As the Custodians of your Data YOU are responsible, this responsibility CANNOT be transferred to a third party, so if your chosen Data Destruction Contractor gets it wrong you pay the price, not them!

So having determined that your company has sole responsibility for safeguarding your data and its secure destruction, let's take a look at where offsite lets you down!

It's Too Late Closing the gate after the horse has bolted!

  • Asset signover and reconciliation - in the majority of instances companies refresh their IT estate over time in batch quantities, the assets marked for disposal vary in condition and asset registers are seldom up to date, with errors in identification markings common place.
    • If these items are removed from site without a prior and thorough inventory of the physical items presented for disposal then noncompliance is inevitable.  Any discrepancy later reported upon check-in at the Contractors site serves as confirmation of the non compliance.  Unaccounted for assets would be classified as "Data Loss" and "Asset Loss".hardrive hammer
  • Hard Drive Status- It is common practice to find inconsistencies regarding the presence of Hard Disk Drives when computers are stock piled awaiting disposal, the causes for this are too great to list here however, it is safe to say that where Hard Drives should be present, they're missing and when they should have been removed, some haven't! (See why you shouldn't remove Hard Disk Drives!)
    • If these discrepancies go unnoticed and the assets are taken offsite, you have an instance of "Data Loss," as your offsite contractor can only provide Data Destruction Certification for assets complete with HDD's and a note to say the remainder were missing.  Now according to your own records, these drives have gone missing between leaving your premises and arriving at the Contractors!

Approved Data Destruction Methods

  • There are many ways to reportedly destroy data; yet few are approved, we have probably heard and seen it all, yet I dare say someone will try to convince me of what they believe is effective or adequate, but it's not me they have to convince!
    • Not only do methods have to be approved but products too, not all overwriting software works and neither do all degaussers, all hard drives are not made the same and shredding is not an approved method of data destruction, that's right I said "NOT an approved method of Data Destruction".

Traceability as well as Auditability

  • Accurate and efficient documentation and certification is essential to compliance, however there is also the question of Auditing the Data Destruction process; in some instances this is a mandatory requirement of the standards regarding Secure Data Sanitisation.
    • Once you have allowed your data to leave your premises, you are unable to audit and verify the Destruction of YOUR Data Assets; sure you can audit the contractor's process, but you cannot guarantee the sanitisation of your own assets unless you go along for the ride!

 Data in Transit is Data at Risk!

  • Our industry, that is the IT Asset Disposal and Data Destruction Industry consists of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly however, even the very best ethical Offsite Data Destruction Companies cannot guarantee you safe transportation and arrival of your data assets; as this falls outside of their control and therefore places YOU at Risk!
    • Ask yourself, am I insured against Data Loss in Transit?  The answer is No!  Insurers will only indemnify the resale value of the Physical Assets whilst in transit however, they will not cover you against the consequential losses, fines and potential law suits from data loss, as this can run into several millions. (see Nationwide article)

 Destroy IT Right - Do IT Onsite!

As you can see there are inherent problems associated with the efficient and effective signover of your data assets, the procedures, processes, in fact the entire business model for onsite data destruction is very different from that of our offsite friends; in many cases it is the complete reverse, our expertise is deployed onsite, where offsite requires the experts back at base, our checks and balances are performed onsite, where as offsite is as it says, performed offsite!

Click the links to find out more about our Onsite Data Destruction and Asset Reconciliation services.