Shredding documents is not enough! It has to be turned to mulch!
Did you know that you could buy software for $50 that you can scan shredded documents to put them back in order?
Shredding documents is not enough they need to be reduced to a pulp which Country Mile Document Destruction does on-site and hand you a guaranteed certificate on the spot.
Here are the details on how shredding sensitive documents are not enough.
If you purchase the software, there are no restrictions on who can purchase this software, then you can take any shredded document, scan-it, and the software will re-assemble it for you in a fraction of the time of someone doing it by hand. It does not matter if the paper is vertical shredded, cross shredded, or torn. This software that you can install on any computer will sort it out for you.
How does the software do this?
First, you feed all of the pieces into a scanner then the computer software will create a unique ID of each piece fed to the scanner by separating them using various factors such as font type, font size, depth of color of the words, and indentation it uses. Remember separating the piles of a jigsaw puzzle by piece shape and color? This is similar to what the software does.
The software then uses its own matching algorithm to determine which unique piece belongs to another and keeping track of them by the unique ID the software assigned to each piece. It displays close matches on the computer screen for you to verify as well to make the process even faster.
Are there shredders out there that reduce it to a pulp?
Yes, but they cost thousands of dollars and for most businesses, it is not worth it and with the laws in place now for security, there have to be certain measures to take or else you would be at risk for a lawsuit. An example of one step is that top-secret information that the Department of Defense requires that the size of the paper particles should not exceed five square millimeters.
The Pentagon Promotes a Contest.
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) offered $50,000 to anyone who can write the software to sort shredded documents. On October 27th, 2011 DARPA first announced the contest.
Welcome to DARPA’s Shredder Challenge!
Today’s troops often confiscate the remnants of destroyed documents in war zones, but reconstructing them is a daunting task. DARPA’s Shredder Challenge calls upon computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and anyone else who likes solving complex problems to compete for up to $50,000 by piecing together a series of shredded documents.
The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community.
Do you have the skills to reconstruct shredded documents and solve the puzzle?
Can you form a team to help solve the complex physical and analytical problems associated with document reconstruction?
If so, register today for a chance to win $50,000!
The Shredder Challenge is comprised of five separate puzzles in which the number of documents, the document subject matter and the method of shredding will be varied to present challenges of increasing difficulty. To complete each problem, participants must provide the answer to a puzzle embedded in the content of the reconstructed document.
The overall prizewinner and prize awarded will depend on the number and difficulty of the problems solved. DARPA will release the challenge problems on October 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM Eastern and announce a winner the week of December 5, 2011 once final results are calculated.
A team of three from San Francisco called “All Your Shreds Belong To Us,” had won the $50,000 prize and today it is available for anyone to purchase and use.
How sophisticated is the software that sorts the pieces?
You can read this article at Hindawi to find out. As an example here are a couple of formulas that they use to do this task.
Legal requirements for shredding.
Here are just a few legal requirements you should know about:
- Does your computer hard drive hold Sensitive Information?
- In 1984 the federal government passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) regulating how businesses deal with sensitive data. Information that has been deleted from your hard drive can still be accessed using special software. The hard drive’s platters have to be destroyed to make the data on it unreadable in order for your data to be securely destroyed.
- Attention banks, credit unions, financial institutions, and small businesses! Do you have sensitive Financial Documents that need to be destroyed?
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) was passed by the federal government to set up restrictions and guidelines in place that govern how financial institutions dispose of and handle their data.
- Did you know that you are regulated on how long you retain records and when you are allowed to destroy them?
- In 2002 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was created to govern businesses on how long they have to retain your records before you can shred them. If you have any questions you can contact us to find out if these restrictions apply to you and find out what the retention times are.
- Commercial Business Document Destruction
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is an amendment to the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA). This amendment was added to protect the consumer from identity theft. The FACTA is a guideline on how to properly dispose of and protect your customer’s sensitive or personal data such as account numbers, social security numbers, etc.
- The Wisconsin legislature, on February 1st, 2000 enacted section 895.505 (Dumpster Diving Law) of the Wisconsin Statutes which could hold businesses and other civilly and criminally liable for not disposing of, or using “personal information” in accordance with the new law.
Unshredding documents in the news.
If you follow this link you will see all kinds of stories of shredding and un-shredding documents in the news.