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4 minute readData Wiping: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore It

Securing your organization’s data should be a top priority. Whether you’re responsible for client records, employee information, or financials you’ll want to be sure that data is guarded.

Data destruction is one of the most important steps in keeping your company’s sensitive data out of harm’s way. It is especially crucial when planning to sell or trade-in your used IT hardware. You may think that using the delete function on your equipment is sufficient, but that’s not the case.

Blancco Technology and Kroll Ontrack conducted a global study concluding that 48% of hard drives and SSDs sold on major reseller websites, like Amazon and eBay, contained residual data. This is a scary statistic for anyone responsible for sensitive data, especially if you plan to sell or buy data storage hardware from the secondary market.

When selling or trading in your used drives it is paramount that you choose a vendor who takes data erasure and sanitization seriously. The best way to ensure that your data has been effectively deleted is to have someone perform a data wipe.

Deleting data from a drive doesn’t work

Many consumers, including IT departments, have made the mistake of thinking that deleting data from hard drives means the data is both gone and no longer retrievable. There’s nothing further from the truth.

The Blancco Technology and Kroll Ontrack study also mentioned that of the examined drives 75% of them had a deletion attempt.

This could spell trouble for your organization, especially if you’re a state agency responsible for tax, financial, and driving records. Just because you sold the drive doesn’t absolve you from blame should sensitive data get out.

Data destruction options

There are several options when it comes to data wiping. Which one you choose will have a great deal to do with your organization’s needs. Data wiping services can be designed to meet any industry specific data destruction compliance regulations – such as PCI, HIPAA, FACTA and more. Reliant Technology also offers DOD-compliant data wiping services. Here are some of your data erasure options:

Single Pass Overwrite

Passes, in this case, refer to how many times the data is overwritten. A single pass indicates the data will be written over with a specific set of characters, usually a “1” or a “0”, one time.

Three Pass Overwrite

Three pass overwrite means that the data on the drives are written over three times and then verified at the end to guarantee that the drive has been overwritten properly.

In order for the three pass overwrite process to meet the DOD standards of DOD5520M, the three pass overwrite process must follow a specific pattern: a single pass with a “0” character, then a single pass with a “1” character, a third pass with a random character, and then one final pass to verify that the data has been properly overwritten.

Seven Pass Overwrite

The seven pass overwrite process is like the three pass overwrite, but is completed seven times. The standard process for a seven pass overwrite includes each of the following passes: a “0” character pass, a “1” character pass, random character pass, a second random character pass, a “0” character pass, a “1” character pass, and a random character pass before the final verification pass.

Need Help with Data Erasure & Sanitization?

As the World’s #1 Reseller of Certified Pre-Owned Storage Hardware & Support, we offer data wiping services for EMC, NetApp, IBM, and more. You can trust that your data will be properly handled and protected through each step of our data erasure and sanitization process.

Learn more about our Data Erasure & Sanitization services or reach out to one of our storage specialists at 1.877.227.0828.


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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.