Does your company have valuable proprietary information stored on your hard drives? A lot of businesses store important information, including client records, data, product research and more on hard drives on their premises.
The bottom line is that failure to use proper data destruction protocols can leave your proprietary information at risk. At Gilmore Services, we work closely with businesses to ensure that their valuable data isn’t vulnerable. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Should You Protect Your Proprietary Information?
Proprietary information is any information that is unique to your company. It might include:
- Legal, creative or financial work you have done on behalf of a client.
- Trade secrets, including research and development, product specifications, formulas, and more.
- Internal information related to your company, including financial data, salaries, employee records, marketing strategies, and client contracts.
You and your employees work hard to create proprietary information. It could be harmful to your company and its bottom line if one of your competitors were to get their hands on it.
How Long Should You Keep Proprietary Information?
There is no one-size-fits-all rule for maintaining proprietary information on your hard drives. The decision to keep proprietary information may include:
- Regulatory requirements. For example, you may be required to destroy your customers’ financial information under FACTA regulations.
- Utility. If you are using the proprietary information in question on an ongoing basis, then you can’t destroy it. You must retain it somewhere.
- Security. Sometimes, holding onto proprietary information past its usefulness can put your company at risk.
We find that a lot of companies aren’t sure what to do with their proprietary information and trade secrets. As a result, they maintain the information on their hard drives indefinitely.
Of course, the problem with holding onto information indefinitely is that it could potentially be harmful to your business. For example, what if you had proprietary information that you were no longer actively using, but access to it could allow a competitor to gain an advantage over you? Keeping it might make it accessible to employees who shouldn’t have it – or to vendors and suppliers.
The Benefits of Proper Data Destruction
Instead of keeping your proprietary information indefinitely, your best bet is to partner with an experienced data destruction specialist. Gilmore Services is a NAID-certified data destruction company with decades of experience.
Paying for proper data destruction can help you in the following ways.
- It can save you the time and stress of attempting to destroy data yourself. Destroying a hard drive isn’t as easy as you might think.
- It can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your proprietary information has been properly destroyed and will not be accessible to anybody who’s not authorized to see it.
- It can save you money because storing defunct hard drives takes up valuable office space that could be used for other things.
- You’ll have proof that your proprietary information has been destroyed if you need it for regulatory purposes.
- It can help you to avoid fines for regulatory infractions.
- In addition to protecting you, it protects your customers and your employees.
The key is to find a data destruction company that has a NAID certification. At Gilmore Services, we’re NAID-certified. We use state-of-the-art data destruction methods that adhere to Department of Defense standards. You can be sure that your data has been properly destroyed when you partner with us.
The bottom line is that your proprietary information is valuable, and you can’t afford to put it at risk by leaving it unsecured. Partnering with a data destruction company can help you to dispose of it properly.
Need help with secure data destruction? Click here to read about Gilmore Services data destruction services.