If you’ve ever been the victim of a break-in, you know that the loss of property, like a TV or bike, isn’t necessarily the worst consequence. The sense that your life has been invaded is an unexpected one, and the one that is often the most difficult to deal with. A stranger got past a barrier that maybe even friends and family don’t cross. They got into your personal space.
Now imagine you arrive at your office one morning, flip on the computer and, instead of getting to your home screen, you’re met with a message that tells you to pay a ransom to get access to your corporate files.
Just like you don’t immediately realize the personal sense of invasion that a home break-in brings, you at first don’t really appreciate the threat that the message means to your business, its employees, suppliers and customers. This not only affects your ability to start work that morning, it could threaten the entire existence of your company.
Just in case you think that the scenario above is a rare occurrence, a recent news story on CTVNews.ca outlined the findings of a report that found dozens of Canadian companies have paid ransoms to regain control of corporate data. While not a scientific study, the report found that 44 of 125 companies surveyed reported having a data attack on their business in the last year.
The threat to data security is a growing concern and ‘ransomware’ attacks like those highlighted in the report are just one threat. In many ways, your company is being attacked from all sides. From the insecure disposal or destruction of paper documents to employee data theft, the threats to your business are no longer defeated by a simple lock and key.
One area of data protection around which many businesses have a false sense of security is the media that carries all that data. Deleting files and reformatting hard drives of disposed or resold computer hardware does not completely eliminate the data that the media once carried.
The only way to absolutely ensure the information on digital media cannot be accessed by anyone is through certified destruction of the media, including, hard drives, CDs, DVDs, back-up tapes, USB drives and cellphones.
Not only does certified media destruction protect you against data theft, it also means the hazardous materials used in the media are disposed in an environmentally friendly way. In that way, when you properly dispose of your digital media, we all win.