Computer Waste

Offsite Data Destruction

The Pros and Cons of Onsite and Offsite Data Destruction

There could be multiple reasons behind any company or individual looking for a data destruction service. One of the common scenarios is recycling IT equipment and ensuring zero data on the storage before it.

Such companies are looking for complete computer destruction or at least a hard drive destruction service. This is a detailed guide about ‘How to choose between onsite and offsite data destruction,’ the two primary options we usually have.

Enterprises often have to choose between offsite data destruction and onsite data destruction. Policies declare data removal is necessary but do not specify any method. You have to make the best possible decision for your company. Let’s evaluate the pros and cons of both.

offsite data destruction Statistics

Onsite Data Destruction

As the name implies, onsite data destruction occurs on the company’s premises. In-house technicians closely monitor it. Organisations often use reliable data erasure software tools for this purpose.

Onsite Data Destruction Pros

  1. Better Data Security – Since you can monitor the process closely from start to end, it is a more secure method. You can ensure that there is no pitfall.
  2. Simplicity & Convenience – It may add some cost, but it makes data destruction easy. It becomes a matter of some clicks if you have a limited set of devices.
  3. Better Record Keeping and Inventory Validation – It is easy for companies to maintain the record of internally wiped devices. Record keeping is simple since everything takes place onsite, either shredding or data erasure software.
  4. Peace of Mind – You can easily wipe the data at the time that suits you.
  5. Chain of Custody Secure – Chain of custody is an important step. Every individual involved is another possibility of compromise. When you destroy data onsite, you can track each device exchanged. Data leakage threats are minimal since you do not have to move devices outside the premises.

Onsite Data Destruction Cons

  1. Expensive Bulk Erasure – Companies must have space and advanced equipment for bulk data wiping. Skilled professionals are also required.
  2. Disruption in Existing Work Environment It needs frequent supervision and lengthy interaction with the technicians. The result could be less productivity in other ongoing projects. Communication before and after the process requires too much energy.

Common Data Destruction Methods

Offsite Data Destruction

As the name implies, you must move the device outside the company’s premises. You outsource the data destruction to third-party vendors, and they destroy your data on their premises.

Offsite Data Destruction Pros

  1. Affordable Option – Using a licensed offsite service provider is comparatively an affordable option. Otherwise, you would have to dedicate a significant portion of the budget to purchasing data destruction equipment. Offsite vendors use industrial shredders to destroy hard drives.
  2. Fulfil Compliance Requirements – There are strict rules and regulations related to data destruction that every company must follow. Some essential laws your business must comply with are ISO27001, SOX, GLBA, and EU-GDPR. When you outsource data destruction, compliance becomes more effortless. Try to find specialised IT Asset Disposition vendors who follow R2 norms. They know about regulatory compliance requirements very well.
  3. Quick Service – Professional companies will give you quick offsite data destruction services and proof of data removal in documents. You can easily discard a large volume of data at once.

Offsite Data Destruction

  1. Problems Before Destruction – You have to carry the storage devices to offsite facilities. Unexpected issues can arise during and even after this transport due to poor warehouse management and personal negligence.
  2. Chain of Custody Breach Risk – The potential for data leakage is also always there when you move the device between parties. Many parties include in-house technicians, third-party technicians, off site teams, and transport vendors. You cannot minimise the chances of data breach prevention.
  3. Lack of Evidence – You should have proof of data destruction in documents. Not every hardware destruction company will provide it, so choose wisely.

Factors To Consider for Offsite Data Destruction

If you want secure data disposal, find an offsite data destruction services that provide following things:

  • Compliance
  • Documented Proof of Followed Procedures
  • Certificate of Destruction
  • Modern Data Destruction Methods
  • Safe transportation
  • No data leakage

Common Data Destruction

Data Destruction Best Practices

Here are some of the best data erasure practices businesses should follow:

1. Maintain a Document of Formal Data Destruction Policy

This document must cover all crucial aspects of effective and compliant data destruction. Businesses have a bulk of equipment with many types of devices. This document should explain which data destruction method will be used for what kinds of devices.

It must address questions like what the checkpoints are, and which individuals would perform which role. Hence, this doc minimises the risk of leakage and defines ownership and accountability.

2. Test the Documented Destruction Strategy

Find out the loopholes in the document by implementing the strategy. Revise the document in the light of results to have a fool-proof strategy.

3. Thoroughly Research Vendor-supplied Services

Do not finalise any third-party vendor without due diligence. Check their track records carefully.

4. Add Explicit Data Destruction Clauses

All third-party agreements should have such clauses for verifiable destruction of all data types. These clauses should be comprehensive enough to capture cache or temporary files.

5. Create Inventory of Data-Bearing Devices

Businesses must have an eye on all storage devices across their networks. What data does your business possess? Where does it reside? Such questions should be answered before the data destruction process starts.

Ask your IT managers to make detailed lists of all assets with any data. It would help ensure that processes do not miss any device.

6. Train Employees on Data Erasure

Make sure your employees understand the importance and sensitivity of data erasure. Please provide them with a framework to abide by to handle sensitive data and maintain a uniform audit trail.

7. Conduct Regular Audits

Frequent audits are a proactive approach. It helps reduce the risk of data breaches and compliance violations.


Both offsite data destruction and on-site data construction have their pros and cons. Neither is right or wrong. Every business should pick the one that is suitable for them. Computer Waste offers both on-site and off-site data destruction so contact us to discuss options.