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Why Hard Disk Destruction Can Be Therapeutic For Employees

Why Hard Disk Destruction Can Be Therapeutic For Employees

Companies who want to protect data could use disk destruction as a means to alleviate the potential for human error.

A snapshot poll of 165 attendees at InfoSec Europe 2017 by secure data access provider Centrify found that employees who are bored or distracted in the workplace are more likely to make mistakes that may result in an information security risk. According to Centrify's poll—conducted at the event in London in June—over 35 percent of respondents said that human error was the most likely cause of a data breach.

In addition, 57 percent of those surveyed were confident that companies will reduce the chances of a breach by trusting technology to monitor future threats, Centrify said.

Human Error Is Hard To Predict 
The caveat to the rise of the data security machines is that employees—those who are not already distracted at work, presumably—will be responsible for making sure that the technology has identified and dealt with data breaches. A full 75 percent of people surveyed at the conference said that people and not the machines will be the ones that ensure a company has avoided a potential breach.

"It seems that we as employees are both responsible and responsible … so responsible for making mistakes and responsible for avoiding a potential data breach," said Centrify EMEA's vice-president and managing director Andy Heather, in a press release. "It shows just how aware we need to be at work about what we do and how we behave when it comes to our work practices in general and our security practices in particular."

The revelation that the biggest threats to data security are internal is not really a huge surprise. An IBM report that focused on cybersecurity, cited by the Harvard Business Review, said that 60 percent of identified data breaches could be traced back to inside involvement. It should be noted that three out of four attacks were malicious, but you have to feel some empathy for the person that just made a mistake.

Nothing Lasts Forever 
The demands of our digital society have made it extremely important for companies to make data security a priority. Long gone are the days when business-critical information was just filed away in a cabinet or locked room. Instead, this data—which includes customer information and business analytics, for example—lives in a virtual environment on an on-site hard drive or similar. Logic dictates that the older that a hard drive gets, the more likely that it will be replaced.

When that time comes, the company will either ship that storage device to a third party for destruction or just trash it. Both of these options are not the ideal way to ensure data security.

A prudent company will make certain that the data has been erased by secure degaussing techniques, in effect making the data unusable by malicious actors in the future. Degaussers are an excellent way to wipe or sanitize a hard drive, but disk destruction or shredding can turn the process of data security up to 11.

And that's where a bored or distracted employee could be of tremendous use.

By purchasing a hard drive destroyer or a solid state media drive shredder, companies could provide people with the opportunity to liven up their day with physical destruction. Proton Data Security has a variety of machines that not only comply with numerous security requirements, but also turn hard drives into small pieces of electronic waste. And while the therapeutic effects of destroying things is not an ideal way of curing employee boredom, it does provide companies with the peace of mind that sensitive data is secure.

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