Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cybersecurity Tip #20: Effectively Erase and Dispose of Old Data

#CybersecurityTip: Does your MSP have policies or procedures in place to dispose of or destroy old data? Or is the procedure simply clicking, 'Delete'? With the growth of data in your networks, as well as, new data security policies being implemented (ex. HIPAA), what are MSPs to do data removal? The fact is, data deletions are not enough. Deleting a file only marks the space it occupies. Until these invisible 'spaces' are overwritten several times with new data, the old data can still be retrieved. Continue reading to learn how your MSP can effectively dispose of old data.


A common misconception of 'deleting' old digital files are often thought of the same way as shredding a piece of paper. One the 'Delete' button is hit, the data is gone, just like the data on the shredded piece of paper is gone. This is incorrect. 

What MSPs need to be aware of that there are four ways of effectively disposing old data:

  1. Media Destruction - Physical destruction or shredded of the media, hard drives, tapes, etc. itself.
  2. Degaussing - The process of removing the magnetic charge of your media/hard drives. 
  3. Overwriting - Overwriting data set several times.
  4. Destroying Backups -  Don't forget about your backups! 

Select the method of removal that works best for your MSP and ensure disposing data properly is in your maintenance schedule. 

>> Want to learn more? Passportal will be releasing one cybersecurity tip a day throughout the month of October. Click here to view all. 

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Topics: Cybersecurity Tips