The integration of data collection and analysis tools into modern manufacturing environments has revolutionized how companies operate, but it’s also created new cybersecurity challenges. While manufacturers rarely gather personal information, their storage media is often filled with sensitive data that may be valuable to cyber criminals. This risk has forced many companies to implement media protection policies to ensure their storage and production equipment is insulated from data breaches and other forms of exploitation. These programs provide a set of procedures that ensure all information on internal workflows and device credentials are properly safeguarded. But what happens when a storage device is ready to be replaced?

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Data destruction is the process of destroying data that is stored on your hard drives, tapes and other electronic media, making it entirely unreadable. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing your sensitive information after a piece of hardware has been repurposed or decommissioned. While simply deleting the data will make it inaccessible to your operating system, a skilled hacker would be able to easily retrieve the information unless more drastic measures are taken.

Certitude Security can help you improve your media protection policies by offering clear data destruction recommendations that are efficient and cost-effective. Our cybersecurity specialists understand the ins and outs of data security and will work with you to create a full-spectrum program that can ensure your storage devices are properly managed throughout their operational lifespan.

Selecting the right data destruction method

When an IT asset is on the verge of retirement, it’s important to consider how your information security team will deal with the stored data. If your company relies on a third-party cybersecurity service provider, it’s essential to verify the exact data destruction processes they’re using. A lack of visibility can leave your business open to a range of potential risks, from data theft to credential exploitation, so it pays to maintain consistent oversight. At Certitude Security, we work alongside your internal or external IT team to evaluate the data destruction measures being deployed and provide comprehensive guidance to maintain your information security. Some of the data sanitization measures we advocate for include:

Data destruction software

This method of data erasure fills the available space on your storage devices and media equipment with a random pattern of ones and zeros, overwriting any sensitive information they contain. While this form of on-site data destruction may require some IT investment, it allows your company to directly oversee every step of the process.

Degaussing

This form of data destruction is specially designed to eradicate information from magnetic storage tapes and disk drives by altering the devices’ magnetic field. The benefit of this approach is that it allows you to reuse tapes that do not have prewritten tracks. Additionally, degaussing can be used to erase data stored on hard drives and other computing equipment, which may be the most cost-effective option.

Physical destruction

If your manufacturing company deals with sensitive or classified information, physically destroying your storage devices may be the best approach. This method is often considered the most effective means of protecting your data and is usually achieved through shredding storage tapes, hard drives and optical media.

Improving your media and data protection strategies

End-to-end data protection is essential to manufacturers of all sizes, which is why it’s important to choose a data destruction company that aligns with your company’s operational scope and business objectives. Narrowing down your options can be a challenge, as every company has different standards, costs and disposal methods. Ensuring that the data stored on your equipment is properly wiped or destroyed is crucial, so be sure to verify the credibility of your service provider and ask for a certificate of destruction for each device you send out.

Certitude Security’s cybersecurity experts have years of experience with media protection and data destruction, which enables us to locate comprehensive solutions that match your unique production environment and operational needs. We help our clients maintain strong information security by ensuring data destruction companies and external IT teams uphold best practices that will protect your data in the long term.

Data-bearing devices are sanitized and verified to NIST SP 800-88 R1 requirements per NIST SP 800-53 CSF
Meets the NIST 800-88 federal guidelines for media sanitization

If you’re interested in learning more about our media protection services, contact us today.

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