Summary: This article will provide an in-depth understanding of data erasure, its growing need, and how data erasure today has become important for staying compliant with data privacy laws. You will also gather insight on its three-fold role in an organization, how it can help you combat data breaches, and the optimum data erasure solution for your organization.
By 2025, IDC estimates that the global data sphere will grow to 175 Zettabytes. With growing data, the risk of data theft and vulnerability is also on the rise. It is reported that 68 records are lost or stolen each second. That means, as an organization, data security is of utmost importance and cannot be overlooked at any stage of data handling. If data security is not taken care of, the repercussions can be heavy, both in terms of legal and financial costs, as well as tarnishing of brand image. To avoid such a situation, you need to ensure your storage devices don’t become potential points for data leaks during their lifecycle when they change hands or reach the end of their life. Many accidental data leaks happen when users feel they have ‘deleted’ all sensitive data, but the data remains recoverable via technical and forensic methods. Data erasure is the most secure data sanitization technique that can be used not just to safeguard data from theft but also to stay compliant with data privacy norms.
What is Data Erasure?
Data erasure is a software-based method of permanently erasing the sensitive, confidential data on a device to make it irrecoverable while ensuring that the device is still reusable. Unlike other measures of data sanitization, it doesn’t lead to device destruction and thus, is eco-friendly. It also reduces the cost burden of device replacement. Data erasure, aka overwriting, involves a process of writing on the sensitive data with a series of 0s and 1s (or pseudo-random digits), making it essentially unreadable and irrecoverable.
Based on different storage media devices, the overwriting process varies in terms of the patterns and number of passes used. The erasure method simultaneously verifies if the erasure is successful or not and is based on device type. For example, the DoD 5220.22-M method uses three passes of 0s, 1s, and random characters for data erasure with a 100% verification.
Need for Data Erasure
Organizations need data erasure to safeguard the privacy & confidentiality of the business data, prevent data leakages, and comply with the regulatory standards especially when they are reallocating, reselling, or putting devices to rest. Traditional data deletion methods like deleting files and formatting devices are unsecure ways as they leave the data recoverable by DIY software and forensic method. A software-based data erasure solution is advisable and is needed for -
1. Secure Data Destruction: It is the best method to securely wipe data from your device as no technical or forensic method can be used to recover the data post erasure.
2. Preventing Data Leakage: While device destruction might seem easy, sometimes it can lead to unauthorized data access or spillage. The use of a data erasure solution ensures that this never happens.
3. Meeting Regulatory Compliance: Data security is a legal matter, and to stay in business, you must stay compliant. Data eraser software offers tamper-proof audit trails for guaranteed data destruction and helps you stay compliant with global data protection and privacy laws.
4. Preventing Data Breach Penalties: In the unfortunate situation of data leaks and breaches, you are liable to suffer penalties while your brand reputation also takes a nosedive. Permanent and irretrievable data erasure prevents such episodes.
5. Environment Sustainability: Data erasure is an eco-friendly solution that allows reusing old devices and reduces e-waste. Thus, data erasure is a good step toward responsible recycling and reuse.
How Data Erasure Helps You Stay Compliant With Data Privacy Laws
It is observed that 57% of people blame companies - and not hackers - if their data is stolen or compromised. So ensuring proper data sanitization using proven data eraser software is important for avoiding loss of customer trust and public backlash. But that’s not all. You must also ensure compliance with national and international data protection and privacy regulations. To stay compliant, organizations need to produce documented evidence of every wiping performed in the form of certificates and reports of destruction to testify that every storage device/drive was securely wiped and free from exposure to any vulnerability.
Data erasure using trusted software can help you attain compliance with data privacy laws like GDPR, California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), and the like. It also helps to stay compliant with Sarbanes–Oxley Act, GLB Act, HIPAA, ISO27001, ISO27040, PCI-DSS, etc.
The Three-fold Role of Data Erasure
Data erasure is not just a legal or moral obligation. The role that data erasure plays for businesses can be broken down into three parts. For one, obviously, data erasure helps ensure data security for your invaluable data. The global average cost of a data breach is reported as $4.24 million. Secure and permanent data erasure guarantees that sensitive data is wiped beyond recovery, and you stay safe from data breaches. Secondly, secure data erasure helps in ensuring data protection at the cleansing stage of the data remediation process. You can learn more about the role of data erasure in data remediation in our blog here. And lastly, when data reaches the end of its usage lifecycle, data erasure helps ensure globally compliant, eco-friendly, and effective data sanitization. Read in detail about the importance of data erasure for data lifecycle management here.
The Ideal Data Eraser Software For Your Organization
Data erasure can help organizations reduce their cost of device ownership, promote data security, drive compliance, and ensure data privacy. Professional data eraser software like BitRaser offers organizations all the benefits of secure data erasure for drives and mobile devices with an added advantage.
- One, BitRser Data Eraser offers both offsite and on-site data destruction solution that works on all devices.
- Two, being a NIST tested and compliant data eraser software for its data wiping efficacy, it ensures secure and permanent destruction of a wide range of storage media.
- Three, it automatically generates and stores tamper-proof reports and certificates on a secure cloud repository, which can come in handy during audits and compliance checks.
- Four, it offers an automated and customizable erasure process through ISO customization to save business time and cost.
- Five, it offers a single dashboard for erasure reports of drive, mobile, and file erasure performed by the organization and allows easy retrieval of previous records.
- Lastly, among others, BitRaser Data Eraser software offers a Single license type for both hard drives and SSDs, and these licenses do not expire until they are consumed.
Data erasure is one of the most reliable, effective, and compliant method of keeping your data secure when it is not needed. It is helpful when sensitive data-bearing devices are to be reused by someone else or discarded. It is secure, eco-friendly, legally compliant, permanent, and leaves the data irrecoverable by all means. As data privacy norms become widespread and stringent, the need for data erasure will only increase. And your organization can take the lead by implementing a Data Eraser solution today. Reach out to us to know more.