Business Information Technology

An Aspect of Data Security That Many People Ignore

Sure, the firewall is the tightest one in town, and you’ve got the latest malware blocker running. A great anti-virus suite is in place, and everyone switched to a new randomized 48-character password every week. You’re remarkably focused on data security, up to and including having 24/7 armed guards in the server room.

But if you’re missing one important ingredient in your security plan, you’re as vulnerable to hackers as Grandma’s wide-open Windows 10 desktop is. It’s an old, trite hacking method, and many people don’t think of it now, when DDOS attacks and ransomware are the new problems that everyone is paying attention to.

Dumpster Diving Still Works

Dumpster diving is the practice of going through trash cans and office dumpsters, looking for valuable data. Interoffice memos, outdated files, spare copies of reports all can land in the office trash, get hauled out to the dumpster by the cleaning staff, and be harvested by ambitious hackers. This is one of the tools that the NSA used successfully against the Pentagon during Eligible Receiver, an exercise that they used to demonstrate the military’s vulnerability.

Do It Yourself Doesn’t Work Well

Yes, you can have a clerk-typist or janitor spend the last hour of every day doing your paper shredding with a shredder that you can buy on sale at an office supply store. They’ll miss staples and paper clips and wreck your lowball shredder. The shredded paper from one stack of documents will land in the same smallish trash bag, making it easier for a patient hacker to resurrect those documents, even if you use a cross-cut shredder.

If you want truly secure document destruction, hire a pro. They’re not expensive.

Secure Document Shredding Services

A professional outfit will gather and shred your documents for you, as needed or on a regular basis. The better ones will make certain that the confetti is sent out for recycling in large batches, and the really enthusiastic ones will make sure that the batches get randomized by mixing or blowing. A batch of shredded documents from 3 different businesses, mechanically blended together, is going to make it impossible for the most patient, determined hacker to get any results.

Don’t Forget Your Old Hard Drives

Formatting, over-writing, and degaussing old hard drives before disposal isn’t enough any more, either. Hard drive forensics is awfully good, these days. What does get the job done is complete hard drive destruction.

Professionals use one of 2 methods for this. They either cut the drive into narrow strips or they use 7,500 lbs of force to crush them. Either method turns those disc platters into sand-sized pieces, and forensics cannot conquer that. For further information, Shred-it has online resources available on their website.