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Document Management

tive records will never leave the facility intact. Other businesses cannot justify purchasing their own equipment for the relatively few items they need to destroy. These businesses may choose to outsource hard-drive destruc- tion.


If you only destroy 10 hard drives a year, byear, by all means fi nd a reputable destruction service. If you choose this option, be sure to do your homework – thor oughly evaluate a service provider before signing the con- tract. Here are some questions to ask:

ce. If you work – thor-

1. If the service will pick up your hard drives, how will it transport them to the destruction facility? Does the service offer locked, trackable transport cases with tamper-proof security tags?

gning the con- ves, how will

lity? Does the rt cases with

2. Does the service require a long-term contract or a monthly minimum?

contract or a

3. Upon arrival at the facility, will your items be invento- ried by serial number (or barcodes correlated with serial numbers) and stored in a locked, monitored area? How long are they likely to remain there awaiting destruc- tion?

ms be invento- ted with serial ed area? How iting destruc-

4. Are job applicants thoroughly screened? Is the facility monitored around the clock by security cameras?

5. What destruction methods will be used? 6. What proof will you have that items were actually de- stroyed?

7. Will the destruction of your items be logged and certi- fi ed in writing?

ment t.

This heavy-duty shredder is capable of destroying up to 2,500 hard drives per hour.

is a good idea to pop in from time to time for a surprise inspection.

And please note that a certificate of destruction does not free you from your legal responsibility. If a destruction contractor certifies that your confidential data was destroyed, yet the data resurfaces somehow, you are still liable for damages suffered by the injured parties.

Powerful shredders reduce metal to random strips. Hard disk drives and other electronic devices end up as co-mingled “e-scrap,” most of which can be recycled.

8. What happens to destroyed waste? Computers contain valuable and toxic materials. Are these recycled in ac- cordance with pertinent regulations?

9. Is the facility bonded and insured, and to what limits? If the service you are considering passes all the above tests, visit the facility in person. Even if you like what you see there and end up giving the company your business, it

18 October 2011

Methodical choices protect your business Sometimes the best overall destruction/disposal solu- tion is a combination. For example, you might choose to degauss your hard drives in house and then send the degaussed drives to a service for the next stage, such as shredding and/or disintegration. You still get “belt and suspenders” – by choosing two (or more) destruction methods, you protect yourself against human error at one stage or the other.

Although information-security programs will differ ac- cording to facility size and mission, every fi eld of endeavor these days must address the disposal of sensitive electronic records. Confi dential patient records are just as important to a small medical practice, for example, as proprietary product designs are to a large corporation. A wide selection of effective equipment is available to help a facility meet its particular needs. Part and parcel of the data management arc, data security is an ongoing process; if you understand the options, you will be in a much better position to protect yourself and your business.


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