A records storage box can hold about the same number of documents as 1GB of hard drive space on a computer.
Even notebook computers have at least 500GB hard drives these days. That means, in a sense, any of your employees who use a notebook to access your data are potentially walking around with 500 boxes of your corporate data. If you have just 10 employees with notebooks, they might have access to just about every bit of data that relates to your business.
Of course, your company’s access control policy restricts who sees what information, and few people, if anyone, will have access to all the available information.
But any cloud-stored document that’s opened on a notebook or desktop computer can be saved to the computer’s hard drive. And the fact that it’s been opened remains in the browser’s ‘History’ unless it’s deleted.
If there is one thing that’s more difficult to do on a computer than on a piece of paper, it is to certifiably destroy the data they contain. In both cases, the media (paper or the hard drive) must be shredded to a point where the data is certifiably destroyed.
The ‘what’s easier’ quotient goes back in favour of computers when you consider just how much data you can destroy on a single hard drive – 500 records boxes’ worth.
Despite all of this, many companies just store old hard drives on a shelf or simply reformat hard drives before reselling or recycling desktops and notebooks. An old hard drive can easily be reattached to a newer computer and access had to every bit of corporate data it ever contained. And reformatting a drive does little or nothing to prevent a skilled technician from doing the same thing.
So now you know why you need certified destruction of all your old hard drives!