by:  Tom Hinz

The certification requirements

Based on the NAID certification requirements for media endorsement, including hard drive destruction, Integra must have a written and verifiable process for the physical destruction of conventional computer hard drives which render them unreadable and unreconstructable, and we do. We first record and retain the serial numbers of all the hard drives being destroyed for each client and provide the client with printed materials of our procedures and methods as well as certifications of destructions.

 

The definition

Let’s back up a step and define what a hard drive is. With the help of Wikipedia, we learn that a hard drive (or disk drive) is a device for storing and retrieving digital information, primarily computer data. It consists of one or more rapidly rotating disks
called platters. The drives also have magnetic heads arranged to write data to the surfaces and read it from them.

More than just in your computer

Are hard drives found in my PC, my laptop, my notebook? Check, Check, Check. My photocopier-check! Wait a minute….in my photocopier? Yes, that’s right. According to a CBS News report, nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive
storing an image of every document copied, scanned or emailed. Now, if you’re anything like me, you may have made a copy of nearly every important document you have. In my case, these include my driver’s license, social security card, passport, medical
records, car titles, property deeds, mortgage records, insurance papers and the like.

 

These records are safe, right?

Perhaps they are safe as long as my home copier stays in my home. But, what if I improperly discard it or trade it in for another model…..what happens to my data then? Well, if I’m not diligent to have the data professionally wiped or overridden, it’s still
there for the next owner to have, like it or not…..and I don’t! Well, it wasn’t until I read further into the article did I realize how at risk my data really is. Should my copier hard drive fall into the wrong hands, it only takes minutes to locate and remove the hard drive. Then, using a forensic program available for free from the internet, a scan of the drive
can be run downloading up to tens of thousands of images in less than 12 hours. Are you thinking, “Wow” like I am?

 

Some good news to report

In my home, I must be personally responsible to have my copier hard drive destroyed when I retire it to the Waste Away Group for electronic recycling, and I will now. Outside of the home, it is our belief that awareness to the responsibility of the federal
privacy laws such as HIPAA, HITECH and FACTA is increasing. Business is taking these laws, among others, which are meant to safeguard personal information they are in possession of, more seriously. And, so are we! It is our goal to continue to educate our
clientele through informational blogs like this one as well as provide state-of-the-art hard destruction services. Look for more information on the laws in an upcoming issue. Be aware and be safe….together, it is our responsibility.

Contributions by
Tom Hinz, Integra Account Manager, a Waste Away Group company
Wikipedia
CBS News
NAID Certification Policies