Our world as we know it runs on data. It is practically the lifeblood of our day to day lives, with businesses and devices creating, collecting, analyzing and storing copious amounts of data every day. In fact, Statista reports that by 2025, 163 zetabytes of data will have been created globally. It is true that this information empowers us, enabling operations to be optimized and decisions to be made based on critical facts and statistics, but with so much data creation and storage, it can become a double-edged sword. As high volumes of critical information is amassed and readily available, data security has become paramount. Especially when it comes to sectors like healthcare, which documents and manages some of our most sensitive and personal data, secure data transfer and destruction are of highest priority.

In 2018, the biggest healthcare data breach reportedly affected over two and a half million individuals. In the year before, the total annual damage for the U.S. healthcare industry due to these types of breaches was documented at approximately $6.2 billion. But it doesn’t stop there. As a result of these data leaks, health organizations themselves suffered an average brand value loss of half a million U.S. dollars as well.

Luckily, there are ways for healthcare companies to ensure all of their sensitive patient data is secure, especially when disposing of obsolete assets. Professional IT asset disposition teams such as Liquid Technology, an e-Stewards certified recycler, are lifesavers when it comes to these types of high-risk processes. Without partners like Liquid Technology, it can be extremely difficult to properly mitigate the risk of employing practices that are non-compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a task that can be intense and time-consuming even with proper guidance. If an organization with access to highly sensitive patient data fails to comply with HIPAA, they risk multimillion-dollar fines, not to mention the loss of faith by the communities in which they reside.

Liquid Technology takes the guesswork out of the entire process, making liquidation easier and simpler for healthcare organizations looking to decommission their IT assets. In the case of one healthcare client, Liquid Technology created a strategic plan that provided on-site hard drive shredding with serial number reporting, all done in accordance with HIPAA guidelines. Additionally, a detailed inventory report that included serial numbers and asset tags was created for all the decommissioned assets. As part of the agreement, Liquid Technology ensured older assets were disposed of in an eco-friendly way and with adherence to R2 and e-Stewards standards, and any equipment that still held worth was re-sold to help the company recoup any lingering value. As part of an ongoing process, every six months Liquid Technology shreds thousands of hard drives to ensure security for patients and compliance for the client organization.

Now more than ever, it is important to keep personal data safe. With proper help, keeping personal data secure and compliant with HIPAA guidelines doesn’t have to be too daunting. By remaining conscientious of data management practices while disposing of or transferring sensitive information, even the high-stakes world of healthcare can remain safe and sound.