Three Not So Obvious Considersations in Choosing a Data Destruction Service Provider

There are obvious things you need to look for when choosing a provider for electronic data destruction services. 

Examples include:

  • Capability to execute the services required
  • Great customer experience at all phases
  • A willingness to work around your busy schedule
  • Ability to provide you with audit-ready reporting of all actions taken
There are three things to consider when hiring a service provider that are not as obvious:

1.  Does the provider offer different types of destruction services?

Many service providers will focus in on one data destruction technique (physical destruction, eradication, degaussing) and push a strong agenda that this is the only secure option.  Your specific needs may require multiple options however.   As an example, you may wish to physically destroy tape drives and older, smaller hard drives, while eradicating hard drives with resell value. 

Choose a service provider than can offer all options.  These service providers can offer you accurate, non-biased recommendations.

2.  Does the service provider really know their stuff?

Knowledge of computers and knowledge regarding successful data destruction are not the same thing.   

One way to gauge the talent and knowledge of a service provider is by evaluating the preparation work they do before arriving:

  • Do they ask you a lot of questions about the equipment you have, how it is set up, and where it resides? 
  • Can they provide you an accurate estimate on the time it will take for the services to be completed?  
  • A lack of questions and limited ability to plan the engagement ahead of time might signal a lack of knowledge.

Some service providers don’t know the right questions to ask.  Preparation matters.

3.  Does the service provider bring along a “plan B”?

Even with the best preparation work conducted before arriving on site, there are still things that arise that are unexpected.   Ensure that the service provider you choose not only explains how they plan to execute the service, but that they detail how they will handle anomalies that arise.  The last thing you want is to hire a service provider that cannot adjust their approach quickly or requires a rescheduled visit when a problem arises.

The reality is that stuff happens.  Make sure you hire someone who can adapt quickly