With the volume of information being produced at exponential rates, it can become increasingly difficult to manage data effectively. However, decisions need to be made regarding which electronic records to keep and which to discard.
In order to develop an effective strategy that can be used regardless of the amount of data being produced, it’s important to ask some important questions.
Do You Know How To Assess The Information You Have?
In order to dispose of data effectively, you must be able to assess what information you have currently. This means identifying where and on what media it is stored, as well as how the individuals in your organisation access information.
Basically, your data will exist in 3 categories: that which is accessed often, that which is accessed less often, and data which is inactive or has been archived. If your company has several departments, it can be easier to assess data according to department. Should one department pose a higher risk than another for the type of data it stores, then the higher risk department should be assessed before any other.
Have You Constructed A Map Of Storage Areas?
Not knowing where electronic records are being kept is a primary culprit of the data vulnerability that so often accompanies a security breach. The best step to counteract this is to have a map illustrating where data is being stored. As well, you can indicate on the map past and present storage technologies, as well as how data moved in the past and is currently moving.
Other Questions That Need To Be Answered
There are certain pieces of information that are vital for a successful record assessment. One of them is to know how pieces of data are protected. For example, some data may contain personal information and as such, will need to be protected differently than other information.
Another question that requires an answer is how data was created. Perhaps it was originally recorded on paper, but was later digitised. This can help you to patch any possible areas of vulnerability between the time it existed solely in physical form, and the time it was digitised.
Other data will hold value for more than one area of the business. For instance, data may be used for its original purpose, as well as for helping the company to improve analytics. The same is true of data which can be used for auditing or regulatory purposes.
The length of time any piece of data will be needed represents another important question which should be asked, as this will provide a guideline for how long data should be kept active. Establishing a records retention schedule will provide a way for staff to know when documents need to be kept, and when they need to be destroyed.
Avoid Data Vulnerability With Professional Destruction
For companies having a lot of unwanted data stored on numerous devices, the sheer volume of items which must be destroyed can be overwhelming. Where this is the case, calling a professional to destroy your data may offer the best solution.
Absolute IT offers a suite of secure data sanitisation, destruction and disposal services. Whether you wish to resell your storage devices and require complete data erasure, need to completely destroy hard drives and other media, or simply need a place to store your unwanted data-containing items, Absolute IT has a solution that can benefit you.
We provide a complete record of all items we sanitise or destroy so that you can ensure compliance with data regulations.