Data Destruction Policy for Bankers: All You Need to Know

With banks handling so much data, maintaining information security via a data destruction policy is quickly becoming an integral part of their operations. 

Financial and banking organizations are bound by legal and contractual obligations to safeguard client data. Secure disposal of financial information is of paramount importance and the ever-increasing risk of security breaches makes it imperative for banks to implement fool-proof data destruction methods to protect their customer’s sensitive information.

Are You in Finance? Why You Need a Data Destruction Policy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates financial institutions under FTC jurisdiction to have a system in place to keep customer information secure. The rule requires banking companies to develop a data destruction policy that describes their initiatives to protect customer information.

Your policy must take into account your institution’s size and complexity and the scope of operations. It should clearly outline the process of data protection as well as disposal. All customer information should be disposed of in a secure way and in accordance with the FTC’s disposal rule.

An effective policy should effectively prevent security breaches and ensure full compliance with all relevant legislation, as well as reduce disposal costs.

Understand the Data Destruction Standards That Apply

Data security and destruction in the banking sector is governed by a number of regulations. These include: 

  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLBA)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • FACTA Disposal Rule
  • Bank Secrecy Act
  • Patriot Act of 2002
  • PCI Data Security Standard and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act.

Complying with the data security legislations is mandatory, and the consequences for violation of any of the rules are considerable.

Look to use a secure NAID AAA certified process. This is essential given the rapid advancements in technology which have resulted in regular IT asset management decisions in the banking sector. These management decisions range from upgrading to shifting hardware – including servers, hard drives, and backup media.

Tips to Create a Secure Data Destruction Policy in Your Organization

  1. Build a secure and reliable data destruction policy will help you avoid paying costly fines. This will also guard your company’s reputation and improve customer confidence.
    Shred your data. Data shredding is the most reliable and recommended data destruction method. Burn, pulverize, or shred files and documents containing customer information to render the information unreadable and irrecoverable.
  2. Destroy or erase digital data when disposing of computers, hard drives, backup tapes, scanners, PDAs, mobile phones, or any other electronic equipment that may risk customer information. This should include all derived copies of all restricted data files.
  3. Use a qualified ITAD professional to manage the data destruction process. An ITAD manager will ensure that the company has put up adequate measures to meet your legal and contractual obligations.

The Future of Your Data Destruction Policy is Clear

To ensure compliance many of institutions have shifted to their ITAD management to third party disposal companies. As a much as this has been a reliable and cost effective option for many organizations, conducting your due diligence by reviewing the ITAD company can do you a world of good. This will give you the peace of mind that all your data and information is completely destroyed.

At All Green, we work with our clients through a secure chain of custody to ensure that all financial documents and customer details are utterly destroyed. Contact us today for a free data destruction quote.

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