May 23, 2020
Why this is more challenging now?
Few decades earlier, data destruction was a straightforward process as sensitive data was on paper. You could have shredded the documents, and for extra security, did that once or twice more. However, in modern times, the process is more involved and complex when data is residing online and on digital medium. Also, the amount of data has increased exponentially. Complex regulations by government and public demands have made this process essential and expensive through exorbitant fines as well as loss of public trust if not properly executed.
Difference between Data Deletion & Destruction
Data Deletion is a way of erasing data where the erased data cannot be recovered but the digital media remain re-usable. On the other hand, data destruction has two methods – degaussing and destruction. These methods destroy the media themselves in the process. This makes destruction more expensive and you also waste your IT asset (digital media) which can be safely redeployed if the right software such as DiskDeleter is used.
Different Data Erasure Methods
Data erasure is the simplest method and it’s the one most commonly used. It’s as simple as emptying the recycle bin on your desktop. However, in most cases, the data erased in such a way isn’t deleted immediately, but only marked for deletion. Once a disk needs more space for new data, it will be overwritten as new data is saved on the hard disk. This means that such data can potentially be recovered easily, particularly if the hard drive isn’t used often.
This may be an acceptable method for really low-risk or inconsequential data, but such data cannot be considered as truly deleted. By ‘deleting’ data, we mean the use of special software solutions that will immediately overwrite the data using stringent data deletion methods to make sure data can never be recovered.
Also, data erasure methods simply don’t work for flash drives (this includes SSDs) due to the way they store data. Overwriting is possible, but one can never be certain that data has been fully destroyed, due to their wear leveling methods. (They’ll do the job just fine when it comes to corrupting data you really need, as per Murphy’s Law.)
Laws to be aware about data deletion
Every national legislation prescribes certain methods of data handling and deletion, so always try to be up to par with the current laws. Remember to be as transparent as possible and always keep record of your data deletion activities, especially sensitive and high-risk data. Good practices regarding the data security can be ensured by adopting the ISO 27001:2013 standard, but this is expensive too.
What to do?
It is always better to take the extra step than get slapped with a huge fine and public outcry. If you are unsure as to whether the deletion you’re doing is safe enough, there are dedicated specialist companies like us (DiskDeleter) that can help in providing tools to accomplish it and issue official certificates which you can use for the audit purpose. That way, even if something occurs, you can prove it’s not your fault. It is safer and cheaper in the long run to invest in secure deletion technologies than to risk losing sensitive data about your company, which could cost you much more, not even including lawsuits and fines if personal consumer data has been lost. Hard drives can be replaced, but your company’s reputation cannot. Please visit our website page for detailed description of 16 most stringent methods we use to accomplish this to ensure you have peace of mind when it comes to secure and permanent data deletion.