Uncontrolled data growth has resulted in policies regarding data storage and retention. But when data backups are deleted in your business, are they really gone? In this FAQ, Executive Editor and Independent Backup Expert W. Curtis Preston discuss data destruction in backup environments. Curtis takes a closer look at the approaches to destruction, regulations, and policies regarding destruction and options for outsourcing this policy.
The most straightforward solution, according to Which? is complete destruction – and it recommends using a hammer – but it should be noted that destroying the hard drive could release toxic materials when smashed. It must be done with caution also because those smithereens contain environmentally harmful materials so they should be recycled – for instance at the vendor from whom a new hard drive is purchased.
A hard drive works almost exactly like a record player. Data is stored in blocks of 1s and 0s on an aluminum, ceramic or glass platter, which looks a lot like a CD. The platter is centered on a spindle, which controls its rotation; a head uses an electric current to read and write data. An actuator and other electronic components control the entire operation. Water might short out the electronics, but that’s about it. “The data’s still on the platters, regardless if they got wet or not,” explains Russell Chozick, vice president of Flashback Data