Now that we are shifting back to the office, how compliant are your data destruction processes in your industry?
Data can assist a company in refining its day-to-day operations, providing better customer service, and forecasting future developments. Enormous data, however, likewise comes with great responsibility. Data is everywhere in today’s technological world. Even a small organization can generate a large volume of data that will become obsolete or outmoded over time. Companies must appropriately handle and destroy more data as they create more to preserve the confidentiality of their employees and customers.
But now that you’re moving back to the office, is your data destruction process compliant? The number of data breaches is increasing, and compliance standards are becoming more stringent. While penalties and legal expenses for noncompliance vary, businesses should expect to pay more as courts and lawyers come down hard on data misuse.
Data disposal and destruction policies are more important than ever before, and if you’re planning on shifting back to the office, you need to be compliant.
What is Data Destruction?
It is charming to have copies of your grown daughter’s sixth-grade schoolwork. When you are doing the thing with your client’s 12-year-old financial reports, you could end up in serious trouble.
Data destruction is the process of ‘effectively’ deleting information, whether it is in print or digitally, per industry compliance and performance management standards. Secure data destruction encrypts confidential information and overwrites it with random data, making the original material illegible.
Individuals who neglect to destroy their data leave themselves open to identity theft. For businesses and larger organizations, the risks are much higher.
Data Destruction Compliance Tips
Data has two sides to it. It can be beneficial in assisting businesses in understanding consumer trends, but it may also be costly if mismanaged. Failure to comply with data deletion regulations can result in hefty penalties and lawsuits, as well as irreparable harm to your company’s reputation.
Fortunately, there are procedures that businesses may take to ensure that they remain compliant.
Create a Policy for Data Disposal and Destruction
A data destruction policy governs how data is cleansed and destroyed within an enterprise, and it applies to all types of data, whether paper or digital. Organizations must ensure that this policy complies with all industry, state, and federal standards while drafting it.
Creating defined procedures around the data disposal process is the first step in ensuring compliance. To begin, a business must precisely describe the data it wishes to safeguard. Not all data is made equal, thus it’s crucial to figure out which records will be destroyed. Companies should include people from several departments in the policy-making process to ensure that all shortcomings and potential for improvement are addressed.
Remember that implementing policies is just as important as establishing them. Data destruction policies should be audited regularly to ensure that all standards are followed.
Digitize All Records
Some businesses are required by law to preserve printed copies of certain records for particular periods of time. There are ways and retention schedules for safely destroying paper documents in certain situations.
In most cases, though, paper is an unneeded liability. It’s impossible to tell who read a sheet of paper or who photocopied something. Even the most diligent file system will fail to notify a manager when material goes missing or an inspection isn’t completed.
Companies may take a significant step toward ensuring that confidential data is properly preserved and permanently deleted by digitizing records and employing smart data destruction software.
Make Use of Records Management Software
Records management software serves as a one-stop shop for safeguarding data throughout its life cycle. These technologies can warn users when papers have outdated and should be deleted by automating tasks and performing independent audits.
Fines can be imposed if some documents, such as I-9 forms, are kept longer than authorized by law. Therefore, it’s critical to not just destroy papers but to do it quickly.
Consult an Expert in Records Management
Data retention and disposal laws differ by sector and state. Consider hiring a records management expert to help your organization stay compliant. These professionals can assess whether your company is correctly keeping and destroying data, saving you money in the long run by avoiding costly litigation and fines.
Companies have a unique chance to enhance operations, provide better service to consumers, and enhance their results as data becomes increasingly available. Businesses must, however, understand how to safeguard themselves from expensive data breaches and mishandling of information. Companies may stay compliant while enjoying the benefits of the Information Age by developing data destruction policies and engaging with approved data destruction providers.