Big data represents big business in the digital age, particularly when combined with similarly progressive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
To this end, global big data analytics revenue is expected to peak at $68 billion by 2025, while the business intelligence and analytics software application market is already worth a staggering $16 billion.
But what does it mean to destroy your data, and how can you do this safely and effectively as a business owner? Let’s find out!
What is Data Destruction and Why is it Important?
In simple terms, data destruction refers to the safe and effective removal of sensitive information so that it can no longer be accessed or read by an operating system or application.
This has come under intense scrutiny since the EU rolled out its guidelines for GDPR compliance, while data destruction procedures have also become increasingly prevalent as the number of cyberattacks in the UK (and indeed across the globe) has increased markedly during the last decade.
In the five years between 2014 and 2019, for example, the number of UK firms suffering cyber-attacks has doubled, with a total of 1.5 million firms falling victim to data theft as recently as 2019.
While these factors are key drivers of responsible data destruction within businesses, there are other triggers to keep in mind.
Even on a fundamental level, businesses can hold private and sensitive datasets that contain the personal and financial information of customers. Some of this may be outdated, while businesses may also hold data after an individual customer’s lifecycle, and in both of these instances, there’s a pressing need to destroy and dispose of this information securely.
Similarly, data destruction may be the only way to bridge the gap between the different restrictions and guidelines that exist across the globe, with this a particularly important consideration for global corporations.
How to Safely and Securely Destroy Your Data
The question that remains is how should you go about attempting to securely destroy your data as a business owner in the UK? Here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind?
This technical-sounding concept refers to a process by which computer data is destroyed using a high-powered magnet that disrupts the magnetic field of an electronic medium. By disrupting and altering the magnetic field of such a medium, the data included is effectively destroyed, while this technique works particularly well when it’s utilised amongst better-known methods like hard drive shredding.
2. Data Wiping:
In cases where hard drive shredding or similarly comprehensive techniques aren’t available (or you’re unable to access specialist hard drive destruction services), you may want to consider data wiping. This process involves overwriting data from an electronic medium so that it can no longer be read, making it largely immune to theft or the machinations of hackers.
3. Overwriting the Data:
On a similar note, a basic data overwrite is often used by businesses as an initial way of removing or distorting customer information. When data on an electronic device is overwritten, a pattern of ones and zeros is written over the existing information, and while this is a popular technique, it fails to completely remove or eradicate the data from devices.