Avoiding Data Breaches: Destroy Retired Storage Device Data
Don’t throw out or resell that old server, hard disk drive, or solid state drive just yet: unless you’ve taken the proper precautions to ensure the data is unrecoverable, you could be putting your business and personal information at risk of theft. A recent study of storage devices resold on Craigslist found that a staggering 67% still contained personal information and 11% contained business information. This study highlights the importance of making sure your company’s old storage devices are properly cleared before disposal or resale.
Easy Digital Theft: The Downsides of Interchangeable Parts
Unless the data is sophisticatedly encrypted or properly destroyed, thieves can access the device just minutes after obtaining it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not sufficient to drag all the storage device’s files to the Recycle Bin and press “delete.” This only marks the data for overwriting, so it can be easily recovered via an “undeletion” program. More savvy users typically run a device reformat, but using a “Quick” reformat will still leave data on the drive. Computer storage devices utilize the widely supported SATA, SAS, PCI, and USB standards, while generally being platform agnostic: this means a data thief will not have much trouble accessing your company’s storage devices once acquired.
Non-Destructive Data Cleansing
Data centers looking to repurpose or resell used HDDs and SSDs have a few options for securely removing saved information. Running a “Full” reformat is a quick and widely available option that makes it more difficult to recover data from a recycled storage device. However, secure-erase utility programs do a much better job of preventing data theft. PCWorld recommends several data wiping tools including Active@KillDisk and Eraser.
Complete Data and Device Destruction
If you’re not trying to resell or reuse the devices your company has absolute destruction options available. Degaussing, a process used on HDDs that blasts the device with significant magnetic charges which obliterate any information stored on the device, is one such professionally available option. Alternatively, physically destroying the devices makes it incredibly expensive, if not impossible, to recover the data. According to CNET, Your IT staff can destroy the storage devices by crushing them with a sledge hammer or driving a nail through them. It’s necessary to crack or shatter the storage platters on HDDs. Professional services also offer physical device destruction.
Silverback Data Center Solutions can help your data center properly dispose of confidential information saved on retired server storage devices. Many of the previously mentioned data destruction methods can be used in conjunction for more thorough results. For example, Silverback’s data destruction process includes degaussing the media and physically crushing the devices to insure complete elimination.
Comments are closed