It is vital that your company has a process in place to deal effectively with End of Life data security. This security is important, not only for your own business data, but also for any data you may hold about your clients. An effective security system is important for all types and formats of data storage, including that found on handheld devices, hardware, sound recordings and hard copies. This security may not necessarily be a simple process, but these ten tips should set you along the right path toward creating an effective End of Life data security system.
1.Understand Your Data Requirements
Knowing about the data that you and your company require help you to determine the best security procedures. This may include: the lengths of time that different types of data need to be stored; the duration of time that it needs to be protected; and how sensitive it may be. These details will vary between sectors (and even between companies within the same sector), so it is important that you assess this on a personal level.
2.Understand the Threat of Mistreated Data
Understanding the consequences of your End of Life data being disposed of incorrectly or falling into the wrong hands will help you determine how you can prevent this from happening.
3.Implement Policies for Data Security and for Data Disposal
If your company doesn’t have a policy for data security and data disposal you are increasing your risk of falling victim to a data breach. If no policy is in place for people to follow, they can’t follow it. These policies should be tailored to your company’s specific requirements.
4.Make Everyone Aware of the Policy
A policy is pointless if no one is aware that it exists. Ensure that everyone who deals with company data, no matter how infrequently, knows what steps they should take with End of Life data.
5.Determine your EOL priorities
If your main priority is to ensure that all EOL data is thoroughly destroyed regardless of cost, you may be willing to spend a little more on the destruction process. That said, money is not always in such abundance, and priorities will vary from business to business, depending on the data they handle.
6.Determine How Drastic The Process Should Be
If data is extra sensitive, you may need to physically destroy the hardware that they are stored on in addition to completely wiping them clean. However, less sensitive data may not require such thorough action. You will also need to decide whether a representative from your business needs to witness the destruction, or whether a Certificate of Destruction would suffice.
7.Leave No Area Forgotten
You may have dealt with the main areas of concern, but in order to be completely safe you must have a system for all End of Life data to avoid breaches.
8.Educate your Employees
Even if employees are aware of the EOL data process, they should be educated to know the risks of a data breach to ensure that they follow the processes with considerable effort.
9.Develop a Start-to-End Management Policy
Your policy should highlight every aspect of EOL data, from beginning to end. This means that employees (and anyone else that deals with the data) will know precisely what they should do in all circumstances.
10. Regularly Test Your Policy
Of course, you should test your policy before its implementation. However, in order to ensure consistent security, you must test and monitor it regularly and patch up any holes when and where necessary.
In general, with EOL data security it is important to remember that no two companies will have the same requirements, meaning that you cannot base your policy solely on that used by another company. Determine what is important for you and regularly update your policy if and when these requirements change.