Data ‘has to be properly destroyed’

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Why sensitive information has to be discarded properly

With a wide range of potentially costly incidents that can result from anyone having their sensitive information exposed, it is important that companies and consumers store their confidential files securely in order to defend against the threat of loss or theft.

But as well as ensuring that documents are properly stored, it is also necessary to guarantee that the processes involved with discarding expired data are carried out accurately, as failure to effectively destroy records means that they can still be exposed.

That’s according to Richard Costin, managing director of Banner Business Services, who says that the business world has to be more aware of the best ways in which to deal with its files – be they digital or physical.

"The impact [of not removing data properly] is massive, so it is really important you make sure you securely remove data – whether that is on paper or on computers," he said.

"People must get more in tune with the requirements of document destruction, data integrity and the importance of data."

As companies increasingly rely on proper records management systems in order to store their data – be it in a digital mailroom or through a document scanning service – taking steps to destroy their old files could be just as important if they are hoping to avoid costly leaks.

What’s more, with some businesses now adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, it could also be imperative to educate workers on the most effective ways to dispose of any sensitive files that they access via their smartphones or tablets.

Indeed, given the security risks associated with the BYOD strategy, network management specialists IBM recently revealed new software designed to help with the safety of smartphone apps, aimed at making them more secure by design.

"The ability to scan native and hybrid mobile applications for security vulnerabilities is a major step forward in securing sensitive data," said the organisation’s vice president of sales and marketing, Stuart Dross.

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