Why Is Data Destruction So Important?

Data Destruction So Important

An unprecedented 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day around the world. As we continue to rely on digitization to expand and grow both our businesses and our society, this figure is likely to continue to increase.

Despite the huge amount of data created every day, a lot of people aren’t aware of the importance of data destruction.

An effective data destruction strategy is vital for managing data you no longer need. If you’re not aware of this particular data protection stratgey, we’ve outlined what exactly it is and why it’s important.

What Is GDPR?

Before we can properly analyze data destruction, it’s important to understand current data laws. Most businesses that operate worldwide currently have to follow data protection laws known as GDPR.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It’s a set of core rules that businesses must follow in order to protect any data being handled at any one time.

It’s particularly important for organizations handling customer data, or sensitive information such as health details.

To understand GDPR you’ll also need to understand what a GDPR controller and a GDPR processor are.

A GDPR controller is anyone who is responsible for certain data. A GDPR processor is then the company that is actually responsible for handling the data itself.

In some cases, entities function as both a controller and a processor.

If you manage a business today, it’s important to conduct a regular GDPR audit to make sure your company is compliant. It’s worth working with a company with specific, proven experience in GDPR auditing where possible.

If you suffer from a data breach and you’re found not to be compliant with GDPR, you risk fines or more significant consequences.

These consequences will be dependent on the nature of your breaches, and your current country of origin.

Now that you understand the basics of GDPR, let’s delve into what data destruction is.

What Is Data Destruction?

Data destruction is a straightforward process to understand, in that it’s exactly what it sounds like. This is the process of destroying an amount of data forever.

Often, data is destroyed from hard drives, USBs, or other external hardware.

The process makes sure that data is no longer obtainable by anyone, no matter their intention. That includes whoever initially created the data, to begin with.

Because of this fact, data destruction is a permanent process. It’s arguably the most reliable way to keep your data safe in 2022, but must be carefully considered.

In most cases, this process is only reserved for information that you no longer have any practical use for. But you must always dispose of data fully, otherwise, it can end up in the wrong hands.

This is why data destruction is so important for businesses today.

Why Is Data Destruction Important?

Data destruction is important for a number of significant reasons, including the following:

It Permanently Removes Data, Protecting It Entirely

The first reason why data destruction is important is due to its aforementioned permanent nature. The only way to make sure data you no longer need is disposed of properly is by destroying it.

If you keep data lying around, particularly if you’re not using it, it could be stolen or infiltrated by someone else. This data can then be manipulated in a number of ways that can harm you as an individual or as a company.

Its a More Significant Process Than Deleting Data

The vast majority of people use a traditional deletion process to get rid of unwanted data. But the reality is this doesn’t remove your data entirely from any given device.

For starters, deletion means data is still stored for a number of days in your recycling bin. This means it can easily be recovered within a set number of days if someone gains control of your device.

Even if this timespan has expired, a tech-savvy user is able to instigate a system reset. This process takes the lifespan of your device back to a previous point in time.

This can help recover deleted files, meaning hackers can still steal them. Data destruction is, therefore, a more immediate, and more reliable way to remove data from any given system.

Data Deletion Helps Companies Remain GDPR Compliant

Data deletion is also vital for companies intending to meet GDPR requirements. 

Companies are typically only allowed, under GDPR, to hold the personal data of customers for a certain period of time. After this point, they must have a reliable data deletion process in place.

This process ensures that people’s personal data is never lying around waiting to be stolen. By adopting a data deletion policy, your company can meet this aspect of GDPR compliance.

Data Destruction Limits the Potential For Ransomware and Identity Theft

Finally, regularly destroying your data means you are less at risk of both ransomware attacks and identity theft. By regularly destroying data, you’ll have less sensitive information accessible to hackers.

This means it’s less likely for them to utilize ransomware to steal passwords and hold your device to ransom.

Similarly, the less data your device holds the less at risk you are of identity theft. This is because identity theft is easier for a cybercriminal group when they have more data to work with.

These are two of the most significant forms of cybercrime impacting individuals and businesses today. Ransomware attacks in particular grew in frequency by 100% in 2021 alone.

As a result, data destruction is a reliable way to keep your information, your company’s information, and your customer’s information safe from criminals.

Where Can I Find Out More About Data Destruction?

You should now understand what data destruction is, and what its many benefits are for companies and individuals today. But it represents one of several cybersecurity techniques you should be bearing in mind.

If you’d like to learn more about keeping your devices safe, make sure to read through some of the previous posts on our website.