How IT professionals prepare for a Data Center Clean-Out

    The steps to prepare for a data center clean-out

    Are you looking to do a system refresh? Do you want to know how IT professionals prepare to dispose of old data center equipment? Do you want to get rid of all your old devices safely? Do you want to find a certified way to permanently delete your data as you upgrade to a newer version?

    Before you start upgrading your device, there are some things you should know. There is data left on your old devices that contains important information that can be critical to your business. Your information can be left vulnerable without ensuring that the proper disposal steps are taken. IT professionals ensure they are protecting themselves from data breaches by taking the time to remove the data properly.

    Cleaning your devices

    The first step in knowing how to dispose of old data center equipment as a professional is learning how to delete files, perform a factory reset, or get rid of data on your phones or tablets. It is also important to ensure you are cleaning your drive.

    This process can take a lot of time. When done properly, it could take hours or even days, especially if you are getting rid of multiple devices. Removing your data is vital to protecting your organization's information as you are constantly rotating out outdated devices. Although these steps slightly reduce the risk of data breaches, there is still reason for caution when clearing the data from your devices.

    If you need a hand having this step taken care of, Greentec offers these services.

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    Data sanitization

    The next step is data sanitizationData sanitization is the process of removing sensitive data from a system or network. There are four primary methods each with its own pros and cons.

    Knowing how to properly ensure the safe disposal of devices takes a lot of time to learn and implement. It is recommended that you see a professional for large projects as the average person does not always have the knowledge or time to perform data sanitation like a pro.

    How do IT professionals know when data has actually been erased?

    Many people are unaware that there is a difference between data deletion and data erasure. This difference can determine if your information can be retrieved after its removal.

    Data deletion is the process of creating available storage space. The address of the data is deleted from the file, so it can make room for new data. Once the address is deleted the data is invisible, it can still be recovered by using DIY data recovery tools.

    Data erasure is the process in which data is overwritten in order to make the storage media unreadable and unretrievable. This process uses binary patterns like ‘1s’ and ‘0s’ to sanitize the data so that it is eventually useless. Data erasure overwrites these patterns and usually requires specific software. Most of this software provides a certificate of erasure so that you know your information is gone for good.

    Degaussing is a form of overwriting data by demagnetizing or neutralizing the magnetic field used for data storage in magnetic media such as hard drives, floppy disks, etc. Data is destroyed within seconds and can’t be recovered.

    Hackers and expert users know how to recover your data if you don’t ensure data erasure. They will be able to use your lack of knowledge to steal information. IT professionals know this important distinction and have the knowledge to prevent breaches.

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    Physical destruction

    IT professionals would say the safest means of deleting your data permanently is by physically destroying your media. Physical destruction includes things like shredding, crushing, puncturing, disintegrating, and melting. The logistics and process of this is not an easy task and many companies go outside the organization to do it. Not to mention, there are potential harms to both humans and the environment when these steps are taken.

    Organizations sometimes need an accredited third party to help them decommission and dispose of old data center equipment. People and businesses often refresh and replace old devices and equipment for newer versions. They need a certified professional to help them properly unplug, decommission and dispose of old equipment.

    The entire data center clean-out process is critical in protecting our environment by reducing carbon, while also eliminating the risk of data security breaches.

    The process and reports you need

    At Greentec, we are a fully certified provider, who knows the time and effort it takes to safely ensure data erasure and destruction of your device.

    Our team will go to your premises to uninstall, pack, document, and ship the equipment to our facility on a secure truck with secure chain of custody and proper documentation.

    We provide a full report in order to give you peace of mind as you trust us to save you time and handle your devices. Our reports include:

    • Certificate of Data Erasure when devices are refurbished.
    • Certificate of Destruction for when devices are not reusable and need to be shredded.
    • An Asset Audit Report with a complete list of devices that were processed along with their make, model, serial, and asset number of each device.
    • Certificate of Recycling with a list of all items by weight that were destroyed and processed for the recovery of raw materials - ferrous, non-ferrous metals, and plastics.

    Contact us for more information about how we can protect your organization from being vulnerable to data breaches.

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