Here’s why having one could soon be the difference between business success or failure
If your business isn’t taking electronic data disposal seriously, the next few years could mean some difficult times in dealing with what’s expected to be a deluge of data.
Research company IDC estimates that the world will be creating 163 zettabytes of data a year by 2025, 60% of that being managed by businesses, and a huge rise on the 16.3 zettabytes of data created in 2017. A zettabyte is the equivalent of one trillion gigabytes.
There are several reasons for this predicted increase – including the fact more people around the world are becoming connected and more ordinary items are becoming internet-connected. With those mind-boggling estimated numbers, electronic data disposal is going to become one of the biggest problems for businesses over the next six years.
More and more of us will be in contact with internet-connected devices such as Alexa, Google home hubs, internet-connected TVs, smart phones, internet-connected washing machines and fridges, and computers multiple times every day. IDC estimate the average connected person will interact with those devices 4,800 times a day, that’s one interaction every 18 seconds.
Data will have to be stored, managed, and disposed of effectively and within the law. The strict measures brought in by the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018 mean that in the most serious cases of data breaches businesses face the potential of a fine of 4% of worldwide turnover or 20 million Euros, whichever is the higher.
For many businesses, that sort of fine could be the difference between success or business failure.
Even lower level fines will have a major impact on the future of businesses.
So, developing a policy to manage electronic data and dispose of it securely is vital.
How do I draw up a policy for electronic data disposal?
- Map your electronic assets and where your data is held– From business laptops and smart phones to image cards in cameras, CCTV which records electronic data, smart TVs, tablets, or USB drives, list all your assets and where they are kept. Ensure they are in secure locations wherever possible.
- Determine what sort of data you hold– Does it contain personal details, sensitive information? You will have to ensure it complies with the rules brought in by GDPR, and that means having a data controller, identifying your data processors, showing you hold that data securely, and ensuring you have a system for disposing of it securely. You will also have to report data breaches within 72 hours.
- Identify how you will dispose of that data when it is no longer needed– That will include deleting it or wiping it from your system and ensuring hard drives are shredded securely so that identity thieves cannot retrieve it. Simply deleting it from computers won’t prevent determined ID thieves.
- Choose an accredited outsourced electronic data disposal company– Your company will need to have the latest European and British standards accreditations for the environment, and staff should be vetted to BS7858, as well as full CRB checks and regular training, as they are at On Time Shred.
- Ensure you have a system for getting, logging, and storing your certificates of destruction – These certificates will prove important if there has been a breach somewhere and you can prove that your business did everything it could to prevent data being accessed illegally.
- Decide how your policy will be communicated to staff – Your employees will need to know your policy, how it is implemented, and how important it is to flag up any problems immediately. Regular training will help refresh them and keep new starters in the loop, too.
Why should you choose On Time Shred?
- We give you a certificate of destruction so that you can prove your item was destroyed correctly, waste transfer notes and numbers, and an audit trail
- Our employees are vetted
- Our vehicles have GPS tracking and our premises have 24-hour CCTV coverage. Access to them is tested regularly
- We meet the shredding standards set by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI)
- We can reduce items to a dust-sized particle
- None of our waste goes to landfill
Do you need help or advice on electronic data disposal? Call our On Time Shred experts on 0330 333 1234.